The Federal Government (FG) has said it is committed to birth control, fertility regulation in the country.
It said the commitment also includes the reduction of maternal and child mortality and fertility control through family planning.
Director Family Health Department of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Salma Ibrahim, who made the statement, said President Muhammadu Buhari showed his commitment to the cause by approving the revised birth control policy.
Ibrahim said although the process was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is determined to work on regulating the population, especially in terms of security, economy, social protection, job creation and infrastructural development.
She spoke in Abuja at a panel session that brought together relevant policymakers, experts and practitioners to deliberate on strategic pathways for the implementation of the policy’s content and actualization of the main targets.
The event was organised by the Development Research and Project Centre (DRPC) under the Partnership for Advocacy for Child and Family Health (PAS) project.
She said, “The President is highly committed to population management and he is walking the talk. We have to regulate fertility and population because it is a marching order given to us. We have to control fertility, reduce maternal and child mortality and this is what we are trying to do through family planning.
“When COVID-19 came in 2020, it affected the work that we have done but the government is determined which is why the Minister of finance committed $4million to the ministry. We have been able in the last year to get a 10-year commitment to commit the right framework for family planning and a week ago, we gathered and realigned our commitment till 2030.
“We all know the state of our nation today and how the population is presently affecting the country in terms of security, the economy, social protection, job creation, and infrastructural development.
“We are not just pushing for family planning in terms of perspective but asking the question of what we have to do in terms of pushing the policy with regard to culture and religion, we have to speak in a language that the people will understand.”
One of the participants, who the Sarkin Yakin Gagi Sokoto State and Chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), Alhaji Umar Jabbi, said traditional rulers have a role to play in making the people understand the significance of family planning, especially as it affects women and children.
He said it was not just the aspect of creating policies but ensuring that people understand the policies in their own language rather than them perceiving it as a threat due to mis-communications.