By Sarauniya G Usman

The Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP) has organised a media briefing on Family Planning 2020 London Submit.

The meeting which took place in Abuja, was to explain the nexus between family planning and the health of women and children, economic growth of the nation and how investing in family planning can help achieved this.
The theme of the meeting was “Towards Achieving Nigeria Renewed Family Planning 2020 commitments”

In his opening remarks, the President Association of Reproductive Health (ARH) Prof. Oladipo Ladipo, said that family planning is the only way that allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attained their desired number of children, spacing among them and timing of their births.
Prof. Ladipo said according to national demographic and health survey report (NDHS 2013), Nigeria is one of the countries with high maternal mortality.

He said “currently, 576 women per 100, 000 live births die yearly from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, the figure translates to 111 women dying daily”.

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He said available evidence shown that 16 percent of woman who sought to use family planning services failed to gain access to such service, consequently led to large proportion of Nigerian woman at high risk of pregnancies and abortions. “These situations demand urgent attention,” he added.

He further explained that studies shown that successful family planning programmes can reduce maternal mortality by 33 percent and reduce child mortality by 20 percent.

In his welcome address,Chairman Technical Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, Dr. Ejike Oji, said that since the inception of the family planning programme in Nigeria, it has been supported by donors agencies such as UNFPA, USIAD, BILL AND MELINDA GETES FUNDATION, CIDA and DFID.

However the Government of Nigeria has committed $3milion to family planning for the first time in 2011, this was given on background that the total estimated cost of procuring the commodities from 2011- 2015 was about $50milion.

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In his statement, the Chairman Board of Trustee (BOT) and a Traditional ruler Sarkin Yakin Gagi of Sokoto, Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi, said that voluntary family planning as a human right is central towards poverty reduction. It is also critical during humanitarian crises which are often characterised by sexual violence, intimate – partner violence, child marriage and other high risk behaviours.

Alhaji Jabbi said that universal access to modern family planning methods is imperative for all women in every situation. He therefore urged for more support from donor agencies and the government of Nigeria.