Family Planning and NURHI’s role in Infant Mortality reduction in Kaduna

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Family Planning and NURHI’s role in Infant Mortality reduction in Kaduna
By; Juliana Katung.
 Nigeria has some of the worst poverty and health statistics in Africa and also rated as one of the countries with the highest infant mortality rates with 100 deaths per 1,000 live
births and an adjusted maternal mortality ratio of 800 per 100,000 live births.
Also having a large family  is highly valued especially in the Northern part of the country, thus decreasing the acceptance of modern contraception to space or limit births, with the women giving birth to average of 5 to 7 children.
In this contest, the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) was implemented.  NURHI is a five year Family Planning project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the vision to eliminate supply and demand barriers to contraceptive use and make family planning a social norm in Nigeria.
NURHI intervention in Kaduna State recorded a tremendous success with about 36 percent increase in the contraceptive prevalence among women in Kaduna metropolis and Zaria.       The NURHI supported Government effort in 7 local Government areas in the state is said to have reduce infant and maternity mortality rate drastically.
In a facility tour embarked upon by a team of media men to some of the Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities at Bardarawa, Ungwan Rimi and Kakuri, suburb communities of Kaduna metropolis, revealed a made over of the family Planning units as well as the supplied of the commodities by NURHI free of charge.
A Nurse in charge of Family Planning in Dr. Gwamna Awan General Hospital, Kakuri, Mrs. Ruth K. Maga  described the intervention of NURHI as the tools for the reduction of infant and maternity mortality rate in Kaduna state and the country at large.
According to her, NURHI gestures has encourage the acceptance of women in adopting child spacing as her unit in the past do not have up to 100 women in attendance but now witness between 600 to 700 with the intervention.
Others Nurses in charge of Family Planning provider in Unguwan Rimi and Badarawa Primary Health care, Hassana Baba and Hajiya Jumai A. Haruna respectively said NURHI intervention created more awareness on child spacing as well as encourage adoption of family planning among women which triggered the mass turnout.
According to the Nurses, NURHI has successfully trained providers on both long term and short term  family planning which they not have before the intervention, as well equip the family Planning units with all the necessary commodities free of charge.
NURHI also renovate the Family Planning units, provided them with, autoclave, sterilizer, metal chairs, handbooks/
guidelines and contraceptives among other items.
They added that renovation made their clients comfortable anytime they visit, and avail them the space and opportunity to counsel first time client, educated them on the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
During the visit, a number of women were seen receiving counseling before proceeding to take up the contraceptive plan of their choice while some were going in out of the implant room.
 
Meanwhile, the NURHI has kick off the second phase of the project after the conclusion of the first phase from 2010 to 2015.

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