As part of its commitment towards sensitizing the public on achieving a healthy, productive and prosperous society, Media for Family Planning Plateau State has called on government at all levels to give more attention to the health sector and make funding of the Sector their top priority.
The advocacy group said increased funding to the health sector especially the Family Planning Unit will translate to a more healthier, productive and prosperous Nation.
The group made these known during a media roundtable with the theme “Bridging the Funding Gap on Family Planning Services in Plateau State” which held at the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust (NBTT), Conference Hall, Old Airport Road Jos, Plateau State.
The group posited that there is need to close the existing funding gap and ensure that access and utilization to Family Planning services are enhanced while challenges are properly addressed.
WIn his remarks, the Media Focal Person of Development Communication Network and Media Officer of Voice for Family Planning & Reproductive Health Centre Plateau State, Mr. Wika Gofwen said the essence of the parley was to create platform for stakeholders to discuss issues relating to Family Planning, engage government agencies on Family planning and the way forward as well as sensitization those with or without adequate information relating to family planning.
The State Program Coordinator of The Challenge Initiative (TCI), Dr. Philemon Mamza lauded the group for the idea of creating a platform where critical reproductive health issues are discussed for possible solutions to the existing problems mitigating against the expected successes.
He said the media has critical roles to play in ensuring that government and funders do what is expected of them relating to funding family planning to enhance effective and efficient healthcare service delivery.
He also hinted on the need to address issues of inadequate skilled service providers, funding deficit, commodities stock out and increased sensitization.
Dr. Philemon expressed disappointment over the misconception of Family Planning by people who think it is for population. He said the services are for healthy living and aimed at reducing maternal mortality rate.
Dr. Josiah Mutihir a Consultant/Chairman of Voice for Family Planning and Reproductive Centre, Plateau State who was represented by Mrs. Hannatu F. Dung, the Reproductive Health Coordinator who spoke on the theme lauded the State Government for demonstrating good political commitment to family planning issues and said the State is going fairly well in that regard.
She said the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate is growing at a slow pace hence the need for robust media engagement and sensitization.
She also called for support to the Plateau State Primary Health Care Board to implement cost effective, evidence-based programmes/interventions.
She said since Family Planning is in the concurrent list which made it the responsibility of the three-tiers of government, there is need for conscientious commitment of all the parties involved, that is the Federal Government, State Governments and Local Government Areas.
There was also an overview of Planning Situation in Plateau State by the Family Planning Coordinator, Plateau State Primary Health Care Board, Mrs. Rahila Telfim who also made case for more attention to be accorded to family planning.
The parley also observed shortage of health facilities providing family planning services, insufficient funding for family planning and poor distribution.
The group called for adequate training of Family Planning Providers, equipping family planning facilities, give cash backing to budget line created and increase in the number of health facilities to provide family planning services.
The group reiterated its commitment to greater campaign and sensitization of the public on family planning.
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