…The public sensitized on child-birth-spacing
by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Plateau State is said to have a population of over 4.7million people, with over 1.0 million women of child bearing, and over 2.4 million adolescents.
This revelation was disclosed during a Roundtable Media Discussion, with the theme, ‘Bridging the Funding Gap for Family Planning Services in Plateau State,’ organized by Media for Family Planning in the State recently.
The assertion was made by Plateau State Consultant and Chairman Voice for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Center, Dr. Josiah Mutihir, who was represented by the Coordinator and Secretary for the Center, Mrs Hanatu F. Dung.
Mrs Dung stated that, “The 2.4 million adolescents are at the critical age, as far as reproductive health is concerned. So, we know that, that particular age also needs Family Planning Services.
“So, put together, we are looking at how the funding should be, not just for women of child-bearing age, but together with these adolescents – the young people that will need this at this very time.”
She noted that, they have the grown-ups but low with contraceptives; and the State is working with over 740 health facilities that provide Family Planning services in various locations in its 17 local government areas and different communities in the state.
The secretary explained that, the commodities come from the federal to the state, that’s the contraceptives; and observed that there is also the poor, too, by the federal for Family Planning.
She said, there is a gap in funding of family planning, which is the responsibility of 3 tiers of government; that’s the federal, state, and the lower level – which is the local government – all having responsibilities.
“Because it’s not adequate and, if there were adequate funding for the commodities, adequate quality will be put in place and would be distributed to the states and those, who need the service. There is poor distribution network; no uniformity,” Mrs Dung stated.
Also speaking on the misconceptions of the public on child-spacing, or family planning, the Plateau State Program Coordinator of The-Challenge-Initiative (TCI), Dr Philemon Yohana, said, the misconceptions is about spacing delivery, which is to help to promote child and mother’s health and reduce maternal mortality rate, among others.
He called on the media to help in sensitizing the public on child birth spacing and to engage stakeholders to ensure to carry out their responsibilities regarding child birth spacing, among others.
Program Coordinator explained that, the concept of Child Spacing, or Family Planning, was to ensure that the woman had recovered and is strong enough before taking in another pregnancy, adding that, the child is also a beneficiary of child spacing, as healthy children will be given birth to.