By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Stakeholders advocating for improved Family Planning (FP) services in Kaduna State on Thursday, raised concerns over the non cash backing of FP budget, months after the governor, Nasir el-Rufai approved the funds.
It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Governor, approved the sum of N250m Family Planning Budget for release for the procurement of commodities in 2021.
However, months later, the cash is yet to be released to the agency responsible for the purchase of the items.
This delay prompted Family Planning Advocacy in Nigeria Initiative (FHANI), to bring all stakeholders working around FP to a high level roundtable meeting to discuss ways of getting the government to cash back the approved fund, supported by Pathfinder International.
According to a presentation by Nafisat Musa, Reproductive Health/Family Planning Coordinator of the State Primary Healthcare Development Board (SPHCDA), the state is 63 per cent stocked out of FP commodities and 100 per cent stocked of FP consumables.
She revealed that not a single fund has been released for procurement of FP Commodities and consumables since 2020, despite the board submitting memo to the government in May and that there has also been delay in supply from the Federal Ministry of Health.
On demand creation side, she said that they have been very effective, but however, expressed fears that because of the stock out, the increasing demands are not being met.
This, the stakeholders said, would dent the good record the state government had on FP among other states in the country as one of the first to come up with a line budget for FP, and the accolade they got when the N250m was approved by the governor in 2021.
They therefore, urged the government to act by cash backing the fund to meet up with the FP2030 commitment signed by the Nigerian Government.
Earlier, FHANI’s Chairman, Bala Tijjani, said the meeting became imperative, following the situation the state is facing as far as FP service delivery is concerned.
He noted that there is no doubt that the state government have done well in FP in the past, but that there are lot more to be done.
“If something is not been done at this stage, the success stories we have achieved over the years will now be talking to something else.
“Child birth spacing is one major fundamental window that can win a lots of windows for us. It is the window where we can easily penetrate into the largest hall where a lots of other issues can multiply our efforts”. He said.
State Team Lead of PERL, Abel Adejo, on his part, noted that FP is very critical as one of the health indices and so the issue need to be tackled right from the beginning of the budgeting process so it could be part of the top priorities.
He therefore, advocated for the mobilization of citizens looking at Family Planning to begin to identify the gaps in budget allocation and releases so they can be added to the budget final analysis the would be presented during the budget town hall meeting as well as to the House of Assembly during public hearing on budget.