By Rebecca Ejifoma
Following its plans to improve reproductive health services in the country, the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2) has established a family planning clinic at the Okokomaiko Primary Health Centre, Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos.
The Senior Programme Officer, Advocacy, NURHI 2, Mr. Wale Haastrup says the organisationâ€™s effort was borne out of the need to reduce the high rate of maternal and child mortality in the state through the up-take of family planning, adding that it will also continue to promote the use of FP in the communities.
â€œFor us to promote the use of FP services, we have to upgrade the facility to the basic standards they should be. This will help the providers deliver optimal quality services to clients and patients.
â€œOur concept of 72-hour make-over is said to be targeted at 50 health facilities where it is currently working. We are in the process of getting additional 50 facilities. The idea is for family planning service commodities to be readily available in communities,â€ Haastrup said.
He, however, decried that when the right equipments are not available, quality of health delivery is affected. â€œThe federal government said FP should be free at all levels. But when the facilities do not have the right equipment to help provide these services, it will affect choices and quality delivery.
â€œSo, NURHI has provided these commodities and equipment to facilitate all necessary services for those who want them. It will benefit mothers, children, fathers and the family as a whole,” he said.
As a tool to reduce maternal and child death, the Chairman of Iba LCDA, Mr. Ramota Oseni, commended the group for the gesture of renovation and creating FP department. â€œWe really appreciate this Initiative. It is laudable. It is good for other bodies to recognise that the government cannot do it alone and that is why we are happy with this initiative.â€
Oseni, represented by the Vice-Chairman of the LGA, Hon. Isiaka Yaya, said: â€œNow that this facility has been remodelled and FP department established, our people will be coming here. We need more of this kind of initiatives and commitment from necessary stakeholders in the health sector. Even we, the government, have plans for the health sector in out communities.â€
Speaking at the inauguration, Baale of Okokomaiko, Mr. Wahabi Eletu, affirmed that there was need to intensify awareness on the benefits of FP to the people. â€œThere is need for increased governmentâ€™s presence in the community to facilitate growth and development.â€
The Baale maintained that the people would be committed to ensuring that the unit was sustained and people were mobilised. â€œWe shall encourage people to use the services.â€
Meanwhile, the Chief Nursing Officer, Okoko Ward B, Mrs. Kent O. Mifirinso, lauded the group for the emulative step in repairing and creating FP department in the centre. â€œThe town hall was decided to be used as healthcare centre because they have a lot of health cases. When they have serious cases they are referred to another place to be taken care of.â€
According to her, â€œsince the group built FP unit for us, we have had up to 15 people access FP here. Although sometimes we feel dejected, NUHRI has given us hope with this renovation and good toilet facility.”
â€œNow, the centre opens from Mondays to Fridays. We give the women all the items for FP for free including the commodities. We just plead that NURHI and any other organisation should provide more commodities for the consumers. Like some of the women, who come here appreciate our efforts with N200 or N100. We gather all of it and buy some plastic buckets, disinfectant and others small items,â€ she said.