By Simeon Christian Chukwu
The Family Planning/Reproductive Health Unit at the Society for Family Health (SFH) made giant strides in 2022. By and large, it is regarded as one of the most successful years in recent times. Starting new projects with digital innovations from the Canadian People under the Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) donors to expanding on its Delivering Innovations in Self-Care (DISC) project to additional 12 states; to kickstarting the Momentum in Private Healthcare Delivery (MPHD) project and lots more. The Grand Challenges Canada project is tout to be one of the highest-funded projects during this pool of funds to their implementing partners in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). The MPHD on the other hand – funded by the American People through USAID – seeks to strengthen the capacity of private healthcare providers on hormonal IUD service provision in Nigeria across 9 states. This is also an offshoot of the Task Shifting; Task Sharing Policy of the Nigerian Government in 2014.
In 2022, the MPHD project trained 135 private healthcare providers across the 9 states where the project is implemented. Also, the DISC project, expanded its innovation in driving self-care practice among women of reproductive age to additional 12 states culminating into 15 states, while the Research 4 Scalable Solutions (R4S) adopted digital innovation (known as Kaya Platform) to train private and public healthcare providers on hormonal IUD and disseminated its key findings to stakeholders from implementing the project since 2020. The Kaya platform has now been adopted by the Federal Ministry of Health to train other healthcare providers.
Just in the nick of time, the unit heralded the “newest baby” in the block known as the Supporting Hormonal IUD in New and Emerging markets in Nigeria through research (SHINE) project. It is a 4-year project which will fully kick off in 2023, supported by FHI360 and the Federal Ministry of Health from the auspices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
When it comes to knowledge management and supporting intellectual systems, the FP/RH Unit presented an impressive 26 different abstracts, 16 at the International Family Planning Conference (ICFP) in Pattaya, Thailand, and 10 at the 7th Nigeria Family Planning Conference (NFPC) in Abuja, Nigeria. Also, the Unit Lead (Dr Anthony Nwala) received an award as the Most Published; Honourable Mention during the year under review at the SFH Awards / End of the Year Party while other staff and projects bagged home several awards.
The unit is poised to do bigger things in 2023 having raised the bar high in 2022.