By Sola Ogundipe
Nigeria provided 22 per cent of the contraceptives provided by the top 10 contraceptives providing countries in 2013 and 2014. Out of a total of 8,153,431 contraceptives provided for the two years, Nigeria provided 3,873,115. In 2013, Africa’s most populous country provided 1,835,966 contraceptives, a figure that increased to 2,037,149 in 2014 according to data released by the Family Planning 2020, FP2020, at the just concluded 4th International Conference on Family Planning, ICFP 2016, held in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.
Other countries among the top 10 providers of contraceptives are Democratic. Republic od Congo, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mali, Pakistan and Togo. The data was released just as the conference closed with renewed calls from global leaders for increased action to expand contraceptive access and options for family planning services to additional 120 million women by 2020.
Over 3,000 participants attended the historic conference organised around the theme “Global Commitments, Local Actions” even as the IPPF has already reached 15 million new users and increased their total family planning clients by 40 percent since 2012. As part of the FP2020 commitment, Nigeria pledged to provide additional US$8.35m annually until 2016 for reproductive health commodities.
Further, government pledged to improve equity and access to family planning for women with lowest socioeconomic status, including promoting policy formulation and actions that support maternal and child health. Programmatically, Nigeria committed to training more community health workers to deliver the range of contraceptives in rural areas
Data from the National family planning core indicator 2014-15, showed that the number of additional users of modern methods of contraception rose from 194,000 with a contraceptive prevalence rate, modern methods (mCPR) 10.5 percent in 2013 to 667,000 and 11.4 percent mCPR in 2014. In 2015 the figure rose to 1,064,000 (12.1 percent). Nigeria’s ambitious FP2020 commitment, includes the goal of raising the contraceptive prevalence rate, CPR, among married women from 15-36 percent by 2018.
Access for 60 million
In its own contribution during the ICFP 2016, , the IPPF pledged to provide access to 60 million new users by 2020. The move is part of measures to provide family planning services and bridge unmet need of women for modern contraception. Speaking during the closing session of the conference, IPPF’s Director General, Tewodros Melesse said the new commitment represents the organisation’s most ambitious pledge ever and will allow millions more women to freely choose the size their families.
“We are delighted by what we have achieved and that we can make an even more significant contribution through our increased pledge to reach 60 million new users. Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of FP2020, said the s past year had seen the largest wave of new commitments since the London Summit. “More exciting commitment announcements are expected imminently – a testament not only to the compelling power of the FP2020 vision, but to the growing value of this platform as a catalyst for change.”
“Every two years we gather at the ICFP to learn from one another and map out strategies to accelerate progress. Our goals are bold but, according to the latest FP2020 progress report, we risk falling short of the promises we’ve made to the millions of women that want contraception if we don’t step up,” said Jose “Oying” Rimon II, Chair of the ICFP International Steering Committee and Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.
Rimon who threw a challenge at the close of the conference, said investing in family planning is key to driving positive health outcomes, economic growth and global development progress.