The Wellbeing Foundation Africa and its Founder and President Toyin Ojora-Saraki participated in the Family Planning Summit 2017 in London, United Kingdom from Monday 10 July to Tuesday 11 July. The summit was organised by the United Nations Population Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department of International Development to discuss efforts to reach Family Planning 2020 goals and ensure that around the world women and girls are better able to plan their families and their futures.
Mrs. Saraki noted: “Supply chains must be improved in each national country, so that essential health products can reach people equally. If a bottle of coca cola can reach every corner of every village in Africa and Asia, why can’t contraception and essential medicine. Countries must work together to change this, regionally, so that every woman has equal access in making a choice about her body, her life and her rights, through family planning.”
“I am encouraged to learn the results of the scaled deployment, availability and accessibility of the innovative Sayana Press Uniject injectable contraceptive device, for which I led the advocacy for from its acceptance into Nigeria’s National Council on Health’s Task-Shifting and Task-Sharing Policy in 2012, to be administered by community health extension workers, to its scaled implementation as an affordable solution in diverse humanitarian settings from crisis to development in the Ouagadogou Partnership, the Sahel Womens Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project, and within the developing strategy for Nigeria’s Lake Chad Basin, improving cross-sectoral integrated holistic and sustainable global policy responses and rights based approaches, towards youth and gender equitable demographic dividend.” – HE Toyin Ojora Saraki.”
In Nigeria, only 15.1 percent of married women of reproductive age are using any contraceptive, with an unmet need of 16%. Family planning could prevent 30% of the 111 women who die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The risk of maternal mortality rate of mothers increases with the number of children, which could also be prevented by well-spaced pregnancy and family. The demographic dividend on accessible family planning should be utilized by national and international policy makers.
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa calls on global leaders to:
- To honor their FP2020 commitments to improving family planning funding and services
- To partner with donors and other non-governmental organizations to increase financing for family planning at all levels; partner with relevant agencies to build the capacities of healthcare providers across to encourage task shifting to overcome human resources constraints.
- To strengthen primary health care facilities to provide family planning counselling and services for increased access and improved coverage.
- To strengthen country’s forecasting capacities and supply of family planning capacities”
In attendance were Ministers of Health from several African nations, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Malawi, Tanzania, Senegal, Kenya and the first African head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom. All attendees committed to improving the supply chain for family planning and health products in their respective countries and affirmed their commitment to improve access to contraception.
Family Planning; “Products Realise Progress” – WBFA Advocates For Improved Supply Chains And Access To Family Planning in Africa – Thursday 13 July, 2017, London