Family planning: UNFPA, Sokoto Govt. reveals guidelines for procuring commodities

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The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Sokoto State Government on Thursday unveiled the National Guidelines for State-Funded Procurement of Family Planning (FP) Commodities. The State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Idris Gobir, who led the exercise, highlighted the importance of the guidelines in addressing gaps in the family planning supply chain.

READ ALSO:Sokoto government commends partners on advanced family planning services

Gobir, who was represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Dade-Adare, the Commissioner for Local Government, emphasised the state’s commitment to addressing healthcare challenges.

He said that aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 and Family Planning objectives for 2023 is crucial to achieving both national and international development goals.

The deputy governor acknowledged the pivotal role of access to contraceptives in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and fostering economic growth.

He added that “over the years, with support from stakeholders, government has strived to ensure free access to family planning services across healthcare facilities.”

He also announced the establishment of a dedicated fund for family planning, with a specific budget allocation and release of funds for procurement.

He explained that “this commitment aims to support programme trainings, coordination meetings, sensitisation, supervision, and Last Mile Distribution (LMD).”

He said that the state had also established Family Planning Technical Working Group to facilitate the efforts, and expressed gratitude to implementing partners supporting the family planning programme.

In her remarks, the wife of the state governor, Hajiya Fatima Aliyu, underscored the importance of family planning in improving societal health and overall family growth. She also acknowledged the state’s awareness of challenges in maternal mortality and its dedication to finding permanent solutions.

During UNFPA’s presentation, Dr. Audu Alayande, Assistant Representative, Reproductive Health Specialist, recommended the creation of a distinct budget line for Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) activities.

He suggested the allocation of one per cent of the annual health budget, and ensuring cash backing for procurement of family planning commodities.