By Yusuf Hassan Wada and Roseyln Odeh
The Nigerian Government aims to expand access by recommitting to finance family planning to achieve a 27% modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) among all women by 2024.
The Permanent Secretary (PS), Federal Ministry of Health, Dr (Mrs) Daju Kachollom mni stated this at the opening of a two-day annual national pause and reflect moment of the Society for Family Health’s Adolescent 360 programme (A360) with the theme “Consolidating the Gains of Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Programming in Nigeria”. The event was well attended by critical stakeholders of the Federal Ministry of Health, States Ministries of Health, States Primary Health Agencies, other Implementing Partners and Management staff of the organisation and being held in Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja, Tuesday 12th to Wednesday 13th September 2023.
Kachollom who was represented by Dr Stella Nwosu, Director of Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health said “The current phase of A360 Amplify programme has placed a strong emphasis on Human-Centered Design (HCD) and integration into government health and development systems. This strategic shift is driven by our collective recognition that lasting impact and sustainability can only be achieved through the seamless integration of ASH services into our healthcare landscape. We are not merely creating solutions; we are transforming systems”.
She added saying, “I call on States to begin to brainstorm on innovative approaches to sustain the programme. The importance of our work extends far beyond the lifespan of A360. The delivery of our commitments to adaptation is pivotal to achieving institutionalisation and sustainability. It is our duty to ensure that the gains we have achieved thus far are not short-lived but become an enduring legacy that future generations can build upon”.
The Managing Director of the Society for Family Health (SFH), Dr Omokhudu Idogho who gave the welcome address, shared that “Over the years, SFH in close partnership with government and partners have pushed forward to advance gender equality and further the empowerment of women and girls. This has helped towards increasing the chances of meeting the SDGs related to health, nutrition, education, gender equality, and even food security.”
Dr Idogho who was represented by Dr Jennifer Anyanti, the Deputy Managing Director of SFH, added “The project has achieved key milestones by supporting on expansion of youth-focused service delivery working to attain at least 70% of PHC coverage in focal states. Relatedly, A360 has supported in strengthening human capacity for health through the training of 1,264 providers on YFHS, contraceptive technology and C4C, 1,006 mobilisers, and 539 and 439 male IPCA and female mentors respectively. These combined efforts resulted in over 370,000 taking up modern contraceptives for the first time. The project continues to strive toward human capital development for adolescent girls and has improved human capital outcomes among 58,000 girls.”
The event provides an opportunity for partners and key stakeholders from both government and non-governmental organisations to brainstorm on innovative approaches to sustain the programme and strategic ways for sustainability and to extend far beyond the lifespan of A360.
The Project Director, Ms. Roseyln Odeh added that the event will serve as a critical checkpoint for assessing progress made, refining strategies for greater effectiveness, and building the political will necessary to overcome the challenges of ASRH programming and to achieve our institutionalisation and sustainability.