By Felicia Imohimi
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PSN-PACFaH@Scale) to ensure that the 2020 family planning target is achieved.
In this regard, the society said it will use the modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) campaign to expand access to family planning and other primary healthcare services.
NAN reports that the CPR provides a measure of population coverage of contraceptive use, taking into account all sources of supply and all contraceptive methods; it is the most widely reported measure of outcome for family planning programs at the population level.
Technically speaking, CPR is a ratio, not a rate. (Prevalence is measured by a ratio and incidence by a rate).
For a given year, contraceptive prevalence measures the percentage of women of childbearing age in union who use a form of contraception.
According to a statement issued at the end of a one-day sensitisation/consultative Policy Dialogue with relevant stakeholders in Lagos on Friday, the Senior Programme Officer, PSN-PACFaH@Scale, Edwin Akpotor said the dialogue was convened as a follow-up to the commitment of government at the July 2017 FP2020 London Summit.
At the summit, leaders agreed to achieve 27 per cent CPR by 2020.
One of the strategies presented by the government for the achievement of the goal, the society said, is to expand access to family planning and other primary healthcare services through the non-clinical private providers-Community Pharmacists and Patent & Proprietary Medicines Vendors.
In Nigeria, government’s bid to ensure Universal Access to Quality Health Care Services, a Task Shifting and Task Sharing (TSTS) Policy was developed and rolled out for implementation in 2014.
The TSTS Policy is due for review in 2018.
According to Akpotor the aim is to ensure non-clinical Private Providers (Community Pharmacists and Patent Medicines Vendors) included in the TSTS Policy Contraceptive coverage increases from 30 per cent (the current contribution by public facilities where the TSTS policy is being implemented) to 90 per cent.
The society noted that the 90 per cent would be a combination of the 30 per cent from public sector and the 60 per cent from the private sector, if the TSTS policy was implemented in the private sector.
“The UN says no country has emerged from poverty and achieved economic growth and prosperity without expanding access to contraceptives, especially modern contraceptive methods in the past 50 years.
“Going by the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, there is need for the government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that Essential Primary Health Care Services are Task Shifted or Task Shared with Community Pharmacists and Patent Medicine Vendors bearing in mind their unique contribution.”
He regretted that about 100 women die in the process of giving life in Nigeria each day of which about 30 per cent of the deaths would have been averted by improving access to contraceptives and increasing uptake of family planning services.
Akpotor also said that Nigeria was projected to be the third most populous country in the world by the year 2050, as 50 per cent of its adolescent girls were already mothers by the time they celebrate their 20th birthday.
He, however, emphasised that without proper demographic planning and strategies, Nigeria may not be able to cope with the economic and social challenges this population explosion would cause.
“Nigeria contributes 15 per cent of global maternal deaths, with about 111 women and girls dying every day due to preventable pregnancies and child birth related complications.
“Over population and high maternal mortality will prevent Nigeria from reaping the dividends of demographic transition.
“There is urgent need for government to ensure community pharmacists, patent and proprietary medicines vendors provide more quality essential services and thus should be included in all respective policy documents,”he said.