An NGO, Marie Stopes International Nigeria (MSION), has urged Federal Government to scale-up Family Planning (FP) policies and services to reduce maternal mortality rate.
The Country Director of MSION, Mr Effiom Nyong-Effiom, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Nyong-Effiom said improving access to family planning services would reduce incidences of unsafe abortion and enable families to space and plan for the children they could cater for.
He said that the organisation’s target was that by 2030, every woman should have access to family planning services and there wouldn’t be any record of death from unsafe abortion.
“Our target in Marie Stopes International Nigeria is that by the year 2030, no woman should have a need for family planning and not access it, and no woman should die from unsafe abortion.
“This is our 2030 dream, and that means we need to begin to meet people where they have the need even in hard-to-reach areas. No woman should be left behind.
“Government needs to think around that if we really want to eliminate or reduce maternal deaths, which is 507 for every 100,000 live births.”
According to him, MSION, in collaboration with other organisations, trained 7,500 government providers and currently supporting 2,500 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) to deliver voluntary
and quality family planning services across the country.
Nyong-Effiom explained that the group had developed a franchise model to support 400 private business operators to also give quality family services and post-abortion care services for people
who patronise the private sector.
The country director said 23 functional outreach services largely supported by DFID, was also established to enable women to access family planning services easily.
“Each of the 23 outreach services reach about 1,500 women monthly, and it is exciting for us because some of these places have no form of healthcare and we know that is where
reproductive needs are highest.
“In 2019, we reached out to 2.4 million women with quality family planning services; this has averted close to 36,000 maternal deaths.
“We all know that FP is one of the cheapest way to reduce maternal deaths,’’ he said.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nyong-Effiom said the organisation had set up an internal response team to ensure that access to family planning services was not
disrupted by the lockdown that followed the outbreak of the virus.
He explained that “within the first three months of the COVID-19 outbreak, we saw 774,000 women in our outreach services, which is more than 38 per cent more than we
“For our clinics, we started offering more services, for instance if you call our contact centre that you want service but that you cannot come, we will send a vehicle
to you or send a service provider to attend to you,’’ he said.
The country director, therefore, stressed the need for stakeholders to carry out more family planning enlightenment events in schools and among youths.
He also emphasised scaling up of services and adoption of family planning methods to reduce maternal mortality and unsafe abortion. (NAN)