PSN-PACFaH Advocates Expansion Of Family Planning Services To Reduce Maternal Deaths
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN in its Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH)@Scale project has called for the support of Federal Ministry of Health in the ongoing revision of the Task Shifting & Task Sharing policy to cover CPs and PPMVs,
PSN said for Nigeria to achieve 27% Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) commitments by 2020,there was need for expansion of Family Planning services provided by Community Pharmacists and Patent Medicines Vendors (in the EML & NSTG).
In an advocacy to Pharm Mashood Oluku Lawal, Director Food and Drugs Services of the Federal Ministry of Health, Senior Program officer PSN-PACFaH@Scale Project, Dr. Edwin Oyoma Akpotor, said it is unacceptable that 50% of adolescent girls in Nigeria are already mothers by the time they celebrate their 20th birthday and fact that over 100 women die in the process of giving life, 30% of which can be averted by improved access to contraceptives and increasing uptake of family planning services.
“Expressing optimism that the expansion would help Nigeria reduce maternal deaths and improve the health of women.”
Akpotor said Nigeria’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is 576 per 100,000 live births, stating that the high MMR is one of the biggest health challenges in Nigeria which happens due to high unintended pregnancies & low use of contraceptives that the unacceptable MMR will reduce drastically if there is increased access and uptake of Modern Family Planning commodities and services.
According to PSN-PACFaH@Scale Project, Nigeria contributing 15% of global maternal deaths, with about 111 women and girls dying every day due to preventable pregnancies and child birth related complications (i.e. about 5 women die per hour) is unacceptable and thus the urgent need for the Federal Ministry of Health to work with Community Pharmacists & Patent Medicines Vendors who jointly already deliver over 60% of the family planning needs of Nigerians.
By the year 2050 Nigeria is projected to be the 3rd most populous country in the world. To this, the PSN-PACFaH@Scale Project believes that overpopulation and high maternal mortality will prevent Nigeria from reaping the dividends of demographic transition among other countries of the world.
The organization is also advocating for National implementation of the approved Childhood Pneumonia and Diarrhoea policy through the revision of States’ Essential Medicines Lists.
They also want the government of Nigeria to speedily finalize the National Drug Formulary and Essential Medicines List (NDF) which was last updated 29 years ago (1989). Without an up to date, NDF the country may become a dumping ground for medicines and devices.