Memo to Health Minister: Increase funds for family planning services, commodities

By Sola Ogundipe

AS the London Family Planning Summit kicked off, no less than 56 Civil Society Organisations have called on the Minister of Health to ensure funds are secured, and released in time to ensure appropriate access Family Planning services and commoditities towards improving the health of Nigerian women.

The Summit which opened July 10 under the auspices of the DFID, BMGF, UNFPA and FP2020 is being attended by African Ministers of Health and Finance from 42 of the world’s poorest countries as follow up to the  2012 inaugural London Summit.

In a memo  personally delivered to the Health Minister in his office in Abuja, ahead of the ongoing London Summit on Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), they urged the Minister to use his good office to  ensure the timely release and follow up of the 2017 appropriated funds for Family Planning.

The apex health ministry was tasked to strengthen and/or develop innovative funding mechanism that brings the federal government financial support in one basket with the development partners leading to sustainable financing for procurement of required family planning commodities.

The Ministry of Health is also to deepen its collaboration with counterparts in the  Ministries of Women Affairs, Information, Youths and Sports and the CSOs to make room for the voices of young people from all walks of life, particularly the poorest and marginalised.

Between 2012 and 2016, the Nigerian government met just 11 per cent of its FP2020 pledge to provide US$3 million per year for the purchase of family planning commodities and an additional US$8.35 million for life-saving maternal, newborn, and child health commodities.

This current expenditure according to the CSOs is insufficient to support Nigeria’s achievement of the National Family Planning (FP) mCPR goal of 36 per cent by 2018.

They acknowledged  the budgetary allocation in the 2017 appropriated health budget of over N900 million (about $3.17 million) for  procurement of the commodities and committed their support.

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