The cost of living requires family planning in Gombe
By Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
As the campaign on the use of contraceptives and family planning (FP) continues with myths and misconceptions in Gombe, the cost of living has been identified as a major driver of the momentum recently gained in the ‘State.
Officials said the campaign popularly known as birth spacing in the state had been hampered by religious misconceptions and cultural beliefs. However, a shift in his acceptability has recently been seen as he seems to be gradually becoming friends with many families and other residents.
Daily Sun has found that its acceptability has increased in recent times and there has been a surge in demand for services among women of childbearing age.
A look at the state’s contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR), as evidenced by the 2018 edition of the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), shows that the campaign has been successful in the area of demand creation and that the state was moving towards achieving the CPR targets of 22% by 2020.
The chairperson of an Advocacy Working Group (AWG) that was set up to champion advocacy and campaigning on birth spacing in Gombe State, Malam Alhassan Yaya, revealed that the TPC of the State had increased from 4% to 17% between 2013 and 2018.
He attributed the triumphs of the program to the work of stakeholders such as civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media and other groups working on awareness raising and sensitization.
In an interview with the Daily Sun, Malam Yahya explained that the campaign was a priority for his group because “birth spacing is a sure way to reduce maternal mortality by 40%. Our sensitization and our advocacy focused mainly on the need for the State to adopt the program and for the families to subscribe to it”.
However, as the AWG celebrated successes in the state, Ms. Naomi Haruna, a Maternity Officer from Gombe Town, shared her belief that more families were being driven by the hardships and cost of childcare. a large family in the country to subscribe to the program.
Naomi, head of the maternity unit’s birth spacing unit, said this in an interview with the Daily Sun. She said that “more and more women are now turning to the rumors that spread earlier against birth spacing in Gombe.”
She revealed that her facility now sees more than 200 women signing up for a birth spacing method each month. “The demand is too high now, especially these days when people don’t care about birth spacing, but now the situation in the country has changed everything.
Whether you like it or not, all you have to do is subscribe. Most of our clients say they do it not because they want to, but because of the pains and difficulties in society. Most of the women who come for the service tell us during the counseling that they only have to come to take the pressure off of having a newborn baby or an unwanted pregnancy,” Naomi explained.
However, she revealed that an insufficient supply of birth spacing products and consumables was a major challenge at her facility. She said: “Women now come for birth spacing the same way they come for vaccination of their newborns and the growing demand is causing us to run out of stock of the products and that forces us to send to buy the goods supposed to be free”.
The AWG Chair noted that the improvement in the number of women registering daily has opened up more challenges for the state, “this is because the government will have to do more to provide the necessary commodities and consumables. for the smooth running of the program.
He explained that his team was aware of the effort of the State in the adoption of the program by creating a budget line for its implementation, however, he called for the release of the budgeted funds. Malam Alhassan sai, “We have to commend the state government for this as it shows that the government is willing to spend on the program. But I think we should work on the issue of releasing budgeted funds”.
For his part, the Gombe State Health Commissioner, Dr. Habu Dahiru, assured that the government is aware of the increase in demand and is working to fill the gaps. He told the Daily Sun in Gombe that the state was working with The Challenge Initiative (TCI) and other donor agencies to provide the environment, labor and commodities necessary for the program to run smoothly.
“A budget line has been created and we have reserved a designated place for birth spacing services in all our health facilities and with the help of TCI and others we have provided the commodities so now we will embark on supportive supervision of service providers to further strengthen the service,” said Dr Habu.
He added that the ministry had identified a breakdown in communication between stores and healthcare providers as the source of stock-outs in some facilities, as he assured that the challenges would soon be resolved.