By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Kaduna
Concerned by the snail-paced procedure in the release of funds for Child Spacing consumables in Kaduna State, groups of development stakeholders on Wednesday appealed to the State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai to speed up action for the release of the N100 million budgeted for the purpose.
They also called on the governor to equally scale up the child spacing budgetline in the 2019 budget to allow more women to have access and also to make provision for commodities.
Addressing Journalists on Wednesday, during Development Communications, (DevComs) Network, Annual Media Forum on Family Planning/Childbirth Spacing in Kaduna, Iliya Kure, Assistant Secretary, Family Health Advocacy in Nigeria, revealed that the year is already into its second half, yet the state government has not approved any part of the money met to supply consumables for for Child Spacing.
He noted that though, the Kaduna State Government for the first time in the history of Nigeria was the first to allocate such sum of money for child spacing purpose but approving the fund for use will have more impact on the women in the state.
Iliya expressed worries that, with dwindling funding, partners might begin to withdraw their services and if they do, it will become a serious issue.
He therefore, called on government at all levels to own up the process and invest adequately, otherwise in the next few years there is possibility that no one will supply family planning and child spacing consumables and other services to Nigeria.
“Government must beginning to think beyond provision of consumables to procurement of commodity to avoid colossal loss that may arise if partners eventually withdraw their intervention.
“NURHI will be winding up in two years and may not be renewed. NURHI has trained health workers to provide this service at PHCs in the selected areas they are currently working. There is a need for PHC Development Agency of the state government to ensure that, the trained health workers are not transfer indiscriminately as not all of the health workers in the state employment got the training to render the service”. He added.
Another child-spacing advocate with Maternal and Child Healthcare Civil Society Organization Partnership, Benjamin Maigari noted that even the N100million was not enough to take care of over six million people, releasing it on time will definitely put the state on the edge of overcoming deaths around child birth.
“If Kaduna according to the governor is the third largest state in the country with population of over six million people, what can N100 million as regarding child-spacing commodities and consumables in Kaduna State really do? The state government is trying but then, they needed to release the money now because there is correlation between poverty, population and child-spacing”. He said.