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Zamfara pledges commitment to family planning

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

The Zamfara State Government has pledged to continue providing qualitative and affordable health pregnancy and child spacing services, under Jhpiego, an international non-profit health organisation in collaboration with Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) programmes been in the state through the Accelerating Scale-up of Implants (ASI) project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation within the last two years.

This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary of the state ministry of health, Dr Lawal Umar Bungudu during the end-of-project dissemination of lessons learned and best practices of the ASI project in the state.

Dr Bungudu acknowledged the contributions of the ASI projects sponsored by the project founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the key implementers, Jhpiego and CHAI, and other partners for their role in making healthy pregnancy and child spacing services, especially the use of implants more available and accessible in the state.

He assures that the state government through the ministry of health would promote and sustain all necessary efforts to further make the family planning services available and accessible across the 14 local government areas of the state.

 

In his remarks, Dr Oniyire Adetiloye, who is the national Deputy Director of Jhpiego explained that, the ASI project was aimed at fast-tracking efforts in introducing and strengthening high-quality family planning (FP) services in Zamfara and Akwa Ibom states.

He said the project has so far achieved the targeted aims through improving the capacity of health providers in the states to effectively introduce implants and by providing an enabling environment to scale up implants more widely.

According to Dr Adetiloye, the key achievements of the project include increase in the number of facilities with the required staff, instruments and materials needed to support healthy pregnancy and child spacing services, improved knowledge and skills of service providers on provision of long-acting and reversible contraceptives (LARCs).

He further stated that, “Among other achievements recorded were increase in uptake of LARC methods of Jadelle, Implanon and IUCD, improved supervision of FP services in health facilities, and establishment of a repository of evidence-based training materials, lessons learned and best practices on FP both at the state and federal levels.

Also speaking, Dr Gbenga Ishola, Jhpiego’s Regional Director on Monitoring & Evaluation, stressed the need for regular collection and reporting data especially using smart phones, as this will improve data quality and reporting rates and enhance supportive supervision of health workers and services.

He also advocated girl-child education and women empowerment in order to increase acceptance of contraceptive use, and institutionalised pre-service training of health care providers on implants.

Over a 100 key stakeholders including directors of MDAs, service providers or family planning champions, direct beneficiaries, project partners, the media and officials as well as students of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health Technology Shagari have participated.

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