Martins Ifijeh
Nigeria is committed to achieving the set target of 36 per cent Family Planning (FP) Contraceptive Prevalence Rate by year 2018, according to the Director and Head of Reproductive Health Division of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Kayode Afolabi.

At the FP Watch final dissemination event held in Abuja recently, Afolabi said that notwithstanding the 2016 prevalence rate of 16 per cent, the 2018 target of 36 per cent was still achievable as Nigeria was part of the global movement on Family Planning-FP 2020.

The FP 2020 goal is designed to enable 120 million women and girls to have informed choice and access to family planning information and a range of modern contraceptive methods. The FP Watch project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund.

The FP Watch is a survey coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Health and Society for Family Health (SFH) with support from Population Services International (PSI).

“For the first time, the survey looks at the availability and access to family planning commodities and services nationwide,” Afolabi said, adding that “we are happy to be part of the survey because it has significance to impact programming and policy that will enhance family planning programming especially access and uptake of family planning in the country to improve maternal, newborn and child health.”

Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Society for Family Health, Sir Bright Ekweremadu, said the National Dissemination Event was to understand the contraceptive landscape and service readiness of providers in Nigeria, provide recommendations pertaining to the outlet survey evidence and identify opportunities and strategies to address key findings.

“We hope to develop recommendations and suggest strategies and priority areas for funding based on the evidence provided by the FP Watch outlet survey,” he assured.

In her remarks the Deputy Managing Director (Programmes) of the Society for Family Health, Dr. Jennifer Anyanti, said that the FP Watch study visited 14,000 outlets across the country to ascertain the availability of family planning commodities and level of service to the teeming Nigerian Population.

Anyanti who described the findings as “interesting” said that part of the focus of the study was market share i.e. which proportion of facilities were providing most services.

“When we looked nationwide, we found out 75 per cent came from the private sector and 25 per cent from the public sector,” she said, adding that this was of great interest to the stakeholders “because usually we place a lot of focus on the public sector.”

Anyanti said that the study also looked at product availability in the sector including products such as condoms, oral contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, injectibles, implants, IUDs and permanent methods like male and female sterilization.

“From the presentations we noticed that access to family planning is low in the North … so it depends largely on the work that all of us – government, partners and media do in educating women about family planning.”

FP Watch is a multi-country research project designed to generate evidence on contraceptive availability through surveys administered to all Public and Private facilities and outlets with the potential to sell or distribute modern FP methods. The standardised methodology and questionnaire were implemented in Ethiopia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Myanmar and India from 2015 to 2016.

FP Watch assesses the composition, performance and service readiness of the total FP market in high-priority FP 2020 countries. This includes range and availability of modern FP methods and services, private outlet, consumer prices, relative market share by method/outlet type and market readiness for FP service delivery.