Stakeholders working in family planning space have called on the Kano state government to introduce 24-hour FP services to enable women and other clients missing FP services due to the closure of clinics after 5 pm. In a webinar organized by the PAS coalition in the state, stakeholders also identified funding gaps in the state.
The webinar, whose main objective was to identify Child Birth Spacing funding Gap in Kano State, brainstorm on the barriers to uptake of FP services in Kano State and share experience of the selected Health facilities with low and high uptake of FP/CBS services, agreed that with 24 hours services in clinics across the state will improve contraceptive rates significantly.
Prominent Kano State Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ibrahim Khalil, who opened the discussion, described child spacing as legal in Islam, and explained the Islamic perspective to child spacing. He urged the people to be disciplined and follow the prescribed rules in the administration of FP policy. He disclosed that Islam does not forbid or prohibited child spacing but it must not be enforced by the government rather people should be allowed to do it willingly.
In her remarks, foremost Professor of Gynecology, Dr Hadiza Galadanchi, who called for the establishment of a 24 hours service units across the state clinics, said many women missed the opportunity as a result of the closure of services after 5 pm in the state. On the barriers to uptake of FP/CBS services in Kano state, Prof Hadiza Shehu Galadanci said barrier within the health system and lack of access to the facilities remain the main challenges against improving contraception in the state.
Earlier, the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa, who was represented by the Director Public Health, emphasized that Family planning is one of the key programs that is dear to the heart of the state government and lots of effort have been made to meet up with all FP needs. He disclosed that the current FP/CBS contraceptives prevalence rate (CPR) in state stood at 7% from the last survey conducted in 2013 and is still used as approved CPR. Although, new survey has been conducted last year 2019 but yet to be disseminated this is likely to be 13%. He stated that the reduction in uptake of FP was due to the COVID 19 pandemic especially during the month of April – June due to the restriction of movement put in place by the government.
The Commissioner that funding of family planning in the state comes from various sources both from the government and partners, which include the state appropriated budgets, savings one million lives project, heath basket (state government contributes with BMGF and ADF). TCI, CHAI, and other partners are also supporting.
‘’Funding gaps experience in the state is due to covid19 which made the state government revise it budget. FP budget dropped from N100 Million to N20million and saving one million lives is coming to an end next year. Thus, there will be a need to look for other sources to fund FP. He attributed the causes of delay in FP budget releases to COVID 19’’ He added
A total number of fourth (40) participants mainly FP stakeholders from Government, NGOs, and CSOs within and outside Kano State attended the meeting.
Panelists at the webinar included, Dr Ashiru Rajab – Director family health and disease control, Haj Saa Nataala – Family Planning Coordinator, Hussaina Muhammad – Deputy Family Planning Coordinator, Saudat Sarki Shehu – M&E officer FP Unit, Prof Hadiza Shehu Galadanci – Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Sheik Ibrahim Khalil – Islamic scholar based in Kano State, Nigeria, Fatima A Ahmad – FP service provider at the high-volume Health facilities and Hadiza S Muhammad – In charge of Family planning low volume Health facilities.
At the end of the webinar, the stakeholders identified family planning barriers and how to come up with a mitigation plan to curtail low performance in health facilities. The stakeholders also called on the Kano State government to release the 2020 budget funds for FP/CBS.
In conclusion, the stakeholders recommended for advocacy and collaboration with partners, SMOH, SPHCMB to regulate service charge for family planning in the state. They also want the 2020 budget for family planning to be released by the government.