Nigerian Pharmaceutical Society recommends expansion of Family Planning Services

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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For Nigeria to achieve 27% Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (MCPR) commitments by 2020, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has recommended the expansion of Family Planning services provided by Community Pharmacists and Patent Medicines Vendors (in the EML & NSTG).
The PSN in its Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACaFH) Scale project said that the Federal Ministry of Health can Support the ongoing revision of the Task Shifting & Task Sharing policy to cover CPs and PPMVs, expressing optimism that the expansion will help Nigeria reduce maternal deaths and improve the health of women.
In an advocacy, Pharm Mashood Oluku Lawal, Director Food and Drugs Services of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Edwin Oyoma Akpotor, Senior Program officer PSN-PACFaH@Scale Project 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.
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  adding 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.
Bilkisu Pai