The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has called for urgent steps to stop Nigeria’s rapid population growth rate at 3.2 per cent per annum.
At a one-day progress update meeting of Women Integrated Services for Health (WISH), in Abuja, the minister called for a rapid increase in access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health services to stop the rapid population rate.
According to him, one of the strategies employed by the government for accelerating the progress towards the achievement of the modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) target is the development of the Task-shifting/Task-sharing Policy which seeks to achieve a rational redistribution of clinical and other tasks among health care workers, according to their skills and trainability
Ehanire said, “Nigeria’s rapid population growth rate of 3.2 per cent per annum with its associated social, economic and health consequences precipitated a strong resolve by the government of Nigeria to take urgent steps to rapidly increase access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health services.
“The Task-shifting/Task-sharing Policy ensures specific focus on priority areas such as family planning, to address the gaps in human resource and enhance access to improved methods-mix, especially in rural and hard-to-reach communities.
“To this end, the Federal Ministry of Health is focusing on following thematic areas: policy and governance; service delivery; supply and commodity logistics; demand generation; financing; and monitoring and evaluation, as articulated in the Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint (Scale Up Plan, 2020-2024).
The minister also warned against underestimating the non-involvement of men in sexual and reproductive health programming, adding that they are important and must be considered as one of the key strategies for achieving the desired success.
On his part, the Country Director of Marie Stopes International Organization Nigeria (MSION) , Effiom N Effiom, said the organization would continue to sensitize people on the need to embrace family planning.
“People fail to understand that family planning is not against any culture. All we are saying is, space your children so that you can live long.
“At least, space your children so that you can as well take care of them.
“What is the essence of having 100 children when you cannot afford to feed them and send them to school?”