TCI Media Round Table, Maintaining Demand for family planning commodities during COVID-19 lockdown – Experiences from the Field

June 15, 2020
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TCI Media Round Table, Maintaining Demand for family planning commodities during COVID-19 lockdown

Overview of the Current situation of Covid19 in Nigeria.

It’s no longer news that Covid 19 pandemic is ravaging the World and Nigeria is greatly affected. Currently Nigeria has recorded a number of over 8,734 cases, of these 2,500 have been discharged and 254 deaths have been reported. In Niger State 52 cases have been affirmed so far.

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To combat this, the federal government both at the state government level have taken various measures to ensure reduction in the spread of Covid 19. Among these measures were imposing Lockdown in the nation at-large requiring that people even couples should stay at home idle which has resulted in increase in sexual activities by couples which could lead to unplanned pregnancies.

This Restriction in movement has prevented people from having access to family planning facilities, if this is left unattended to it could further increase Nigeria’s problem of tackling it’s population explosion.

Nigeria’s Family planning situation

Meanwhile Nigeria already has it hand full with reaching it set target of contraceptive prevalence Rate for modern methods of (Mcpr) 27% . Currently Nigeria’s use of modern contraceptive prevalence rate is at 12% with all methods at 17%. In Niger State during the lockdown, the total number of contraceptive supplies in the state were 11,000 jadel and 796,000 condoms. This leaves much to be desired.

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Nigeria has an unmet need for family planning service amongst sexually active Unmarried women at 48% and sexually Unmarried men at 19%. Combining this with the Need for family planning that the current pandemic has added makes it all heavy. To lighten this load and save our women, men, children & our society, there is need to increase & maintain demand for family planning services amidst the lockdown.

What is involved in maintaining the Demand for Family planning Services during this pandemic

To ensure the demand for family planning services to continue to flow, there is need for integration Of family planning services into the ongoing Covid 19 Awareness campaign, in the area of,

1. Advocacy e.g Advocate for family planning along Covid 19 to government, religious leaders and traditional rulers.

2. Service Delivery: Counseling & providing family planning services to Client who came for health issues such as Post abortion care, post partum, child immunization, Educate the adolescence on Family planning, Youths seeking treatment for STi

Niger State Field Experience / Challenges

Niger State also had an impact of the Viral pandemic, with a number 52 cases recorded in the state currently. The state had a lockdown period in the month of April to May, recently the lockdown was Eased last week 8th June, 2020.

During the Lockdown Down, the Niger State Family planning team Took measures to ensure maintenance of family planning services during the lockdown. By:

– Mentoring & Reminding the LGA Reproductive health supervisor on how to ensure service providers Integrate family planning services during the lockdown.

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– Collecting commodity requests form electronically to speed up resupply.

– Advocacy To Religious leaders through the state interfaith members to ensure family planning messages are given to their members Via digital streaming messages during the lockdown.

– The state media advocacy team, tlRhe Challenge initiative (TCI) Carried pre and post lockdown field visit to note people’s awareness and level of family planning services delivery.

Challenges noted was that some local government were yet to receive supplies of some family planning commodities due to lockdown on interstate movement.

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