Nigeria – Critical stakeholders on childbirth spacing in Kaduna on Friday held a meeting to generate child spacing advocacy issues in 2019 budget proposal as a deliberate attempt to address some lapses that were identified in previous budget years.
The meeting, which was organised by Family Health Advocacy in Nigeria Initiative (FHANI) with support from Pathfinder International has representatives of Kaduna State Drugs Management Agency (DMA), State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Ministry of Health and Human Services (MoHHS), Planning and Budget Commission (P&BC) and Child Spacing Media Forum (CSMF) in attendance.
What that means is that, the 2017 #100 million budget line for child spacing by the state government was still intact though it was pursued to a logical conclusion in that year but there was no cash-backing then.
The Ministry of Finance and Planning and Budget Commission are now working together based on revalidation to get the money for procurement and distribution of consumables as captured in 2017 budget since development partners including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are already supplying the commodities to make the service absolute free for reproductive age women who wish to access the services across the state.
Setting the stage for the meeting, the Acting Chairman, FHANI, Alhaji Bala Muhammed Tijjani said, the meeting became necessary to further the course of save pregnancy and healthier families in Kaduna state by way of discussing budget planning and implementation in that direction.
On why FHANI was much concerned about child spacing in Kaduna State, a member of FHANI, Suleiman Tanko stated that, the high mother and child mortality rate in the country, with significance of the data in the Northeast and Northwest and Kaduna in particular spurred his non-governmental organisation to see how it could join hand with other partners to reduce the maternal and child mortality rate drastically in the state.
According to Suleiman, some of the factors responsible for deaths around pregnancy include child marriage, or when a woman do not have enough rest in-between pregnancies or when the woman’s body is weak due to advanced age.
He believed that, if the state government can spend enough money on child spacing, it will save a lot of women from unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion and deaths while increasing the productivity and economy status of the state in return.
“All these things are coming up because some people lack information about them to dispel the myths they have hard.
“This is why FHANI is taking interest in this course because it will reduce mother and child mortality. We are advocating for government who will provide the commodities and consumables and service providers.
“And to get that done, there is need for fund and this fund can only be provided for in the budget – creating enough budget line for the task in the budget document is our top concern”, he added.
Taking the attendants through a document called Costed Implementation Plan (CIP), Yusuf Nuhu, Pathfinder International noted that, though the state government was trying to meet the demand of women who want the service, a lot need to be done to keep the fire burning.
CIP is a strategic multi-year planning document that details activities and cost for achieving set goals, increase access to voluntary child spacing to all women/families.
The CIP for Kaduna state was developed for three years – 2016, 2017 and 2018 targeting Contraceptives Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 46.5 percent as well as addressing unmet need pinned at 22 percent (Source: Kaduna State CIP 2016-2018).
In Kaduna State CIP, there are five strategic priorities/components which are yet to be exhausted. These are demand generation and behavioral change communication, staff and training, forecasting and distribution logistics, policy and financing as well as supervision, monitoring and coordination.
More in the series.