Nigeria needs $5bn annually to meet contraceptives, maternal healthcare

Nigeria needs not less than $5 billion each year to fully meets contraceptive services and maternal and newborn healthcare for women.

The Professor, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist of College Of Medicine, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Christopher Aimakhu disclosed this while delivering a lecture titled, “Analysis of Family Planning Budget and State of Contraceptive Distribution Logistics In Nigeria on Wednesday at a live webinar on the second day of a three-day training for media practitioners in Nigeria.

The programme which was organised by Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health started on Tuesday and is scheduled to close on Thursday.

According to Aimakhu: “Nigeria would be needing $26.09 per capita, a total that is roughly the same cost as meeting the need for maternal and newborn care alone.

“If a full provision of modern contraception were combined with adequate care for all pregnant women and their newborns, maternal deaths would drop by 68% (from 61,000 to 19,000 per year) and newborn deaths would drop by 85% (from 255,000 to 38,000 per year).”

Aimakhu said unintended pregnancies, unplanned births and abortions would reduce drastically as these are the health benefits of meeting women’s need for services

“If all unmet need for modern contraception in Nigeria were satisfied, unintended pregnancies would drop by 77%, from 2.5 million to 555,000 per year.

“As a result, the annual number of unplanned births would decrease from 885,000 to 200,000 and the number of abortions would drop from 1.3 million to 287,000.”

Aimakhu who is also the Secretary-General Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (5OGON), said that the Family Planning 2020 commitments which include building partnerships to improve access to family planning through collaborations with local and international NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), CSOs (Civil Society Organizations), FBOs (Faith-Based Organizations), Traditional and Religious leaders, as well as Government Ministries and Parastatals to address socio-cultural barriers and limitations to FP services, promote BCC messages to foster positive perceptions about FP, and ensure age-appropriate health information for in-and out-of-school young persons through youth-friendly services, will go a long way, if religiously followed.

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