The Country Director, Pathfinder International , Dr Amina Dorayi, has hinted that most Family Planning (FP) policies in Nigeria do not have clear Monitoring and Evaluation plans.
While adding that, there were inadequate guidelines or funding to support policy implementation, as the process was lengthy and cost-intensive.
She gave this hint during a Media Roundtable in Abuja over the weekend in preparation for the forthcoming 6th Nigeria Family Planning Conference scheduled for December 7 to December 11, 2020.
The theme of the conference is “Post 2020 Agenda and Safeguarding Investment in Emergencies: Adaptation, Innovation, Resilience.”
Dorayi opined that, the Federal Government need to decentralise her policies on implementation of Family Planning (FP) measures, considering the country’s cultural and religious diversity.
She, however, recalled that the Federal Government, in collaboration with partners, pledged to achieve a Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) of 27 per cent among women by 2020, relying on policies such as the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP) and the National Family Planning Blueprint.
She added that, other policies the government relied on to achieve the FP2020 were the National Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy (TSTS), the National Policy on Health and Development of Adolescents and Young People, Strategic Plan for DMPA-SC Introduction and Scale-Up, as well as the National Private Sector Engagement Plan.
Dorayi further stated that, championing Family Planning policies at the sub-national levels would drive down costs of their formulation and fill the capacity gaps in their successful implementation across the country.
She added that the National Health Policies, Strategies and Plans play an essential role in defining a country’s vision, policy directions and strategies toward ensuring the health of its population.
While noting that “in order to prepare for, manage and learn from shocks and other emerging global and national threats; health policies need to be fully implemented. The policies are, however, at different stages of implementation.”
According to her, the national policies are collectively aimed at prioritising funding for Family Planning, increase demand for and access to services to all, including rural communities, and quality services in public and private health facilities.
The policies would also help in increasing national and state mCPR, reduce maternal and child mortality and ensure overall health and economic benefits, she said.
Dorayi, therefore, advised full implementation of the policies to “build back better” in the aftermath of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, stressing the need for holistic inclusion of all actors, including subnational stakeholders and local CSOs in the implementation of policies.
She, also stated that the role of the media in advocating for full implementation of relevant policies cannot be overemphasised.
Pathfinder International, which has “sexual and reproductive health without fear or boundary” as its motto, is a global non-profit organisation that focuses on reproductive health, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and maternal health.