From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State government has lauded the efforts of the Centre for Family and Reproductive Health support Initiative, which is a Family Planning Advocacy Working Group (FPAWG), in ensuring that a budget line is created for family planning in the state.
Commissioner of Health and Human Services Dr Joseph Ngbea gave the commendation at the Benue FP Stakeholders meeting held at the Benue Hotels and Resorts on Thursday.
Represented by the Director, Public Health, Dr Terna Kur, the commissioner assured that all hands would be on deck to ensure that the dedicated budget line that had been created for family planning is sustained.
Earlier in a remark, Programme Officer for Pathfinders International Yusuf Nuhu stressed the need to prioritize advocacy and accountability for the implementation of basic healthcare provision fund.
He added that Pathfinders International, which has been the funding partner for the FPAWG in the last five years, would be winding down its support to the group this year, hence the need for the group to be self-sustaining and proactive.
Vice Chairman of FPAWG Dr Chisa Ugboaja, while commending the state government for creating a budget line for FP, however, lamented the dart of skilled FP service providers to render services to consumers of FP in the state.
She explained further that each of the 418 family planning facilities across the 23 local government areas of the state has only 50 trained personnel have been trained to provide Long Active Reversible Contraception (LARC) to the people which is grossly inadequate.
Ugboaja, who noted that there is a training gap, as well as lack of consumables, distribution, logistics and data management, especially in hard to reach areas, said there was a need for timely release of budgeted funds and even increased funding of FP due to dwindling release from partners.