By Hannatu John
The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) has served as a strategic inflection point for the global reproductive health community, providing a global stage for countries, organizations, and individuals to make important commitments and celebrate achievements as the world’s largest scientific conference on family planning and reproductive health.
The ICFP has come and gone but the echoes of the event will continue to resonate until stakeholders- implementers, researchers, activists, academia, donor community and very importantly, beneficiary community meet again .
Participants from more than 200 countries were welcomed into the magical city of Pattaya, Thailand, specifically at the iconic PEACH area which played host to the 2022 ICFP for the week-long activities. The mood was that of spirited joy being the first of the conference since the COVID pandemic hit the globe.
Africa and indeed Nigeria shone brightly for several reasons. At a population growth rate of 3% annually, statistics have pegged Nigeria’s population to somewhere around 240 million. At this rate, Nigeria’s population will be in the ranks of about 500 million come.
LESSONS LEARNT AND OPPORTUNITIES
- The involvement of adolescents and young people more on the front burner of projects.
- Increased involvement by leveraging key influencers in the private sector, (cross collaborations and global learnings, self-care and user-centred programs) to ensure sustainability.
- The need for sustainable awareness of social and behaviourial change.
- The urgency to contextualize implementation strategies by having a strong inter-ministerial committee across sectors, co-created by youth led organizations to strengthen integration of one supply chain management.
Team SFH in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria had a booth with rich materials on policies and guidelines in the health sector of the country. The booth welcomed all and sundry to pick items and ask questions about our institutionalization strategy.
Many that visited the booth were wowed about the collaborative effort SFH has with the Government and gave big kudos to the team. Notably, our mobilisation strategy and Human Centered Design (HCD) approach piqued the minds of passersby, however, the task shifting and tax sharing policy ran out faster than any tool as Nigeria is known to have a structured policy in that regard.