Family Planning: Most Nigerian Women Patronise Local Chemists, Others

Family Planning: Most Nigerian Women Patronise Local Chemists, Others

10/27/2021 5:53:00 AM

Family Planning: Most Nigerian Women Patronise Local Chemists, Others

Patent and proprietary medicine vendors (PPMVs), drug shops and chemists are the most preferred outlets for 62 per cent of Nigerian women to access family

Another area highlighted by the study is the fact that many women bypassed their nearest outlets to obtain family planning from those farther from their homes. Some travel more than three kilometres to access family planning services.Experts who spoke with LEADERSHIP on the issue linked the behaviour of the women to quest for privacy and confidentiality.

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ADVERTISEMENTAccording to the reproductive health and family planning practice area lead of SFH, Dr Anthony Nwala, the study gives an insight into the behavioural pattern of women in terms of where and how they access family planning methods and services.

For instance, Nwala said most women go up to a kilometre to 1.8 kilometres from their homes to buy family planning commodities, when there are public and private hospitals around them, adding that the study also showed that they preferred to by-pass those ones and go farther. headtopics.com

He said, “We know the issue of privacy and confidentiality play a big role here. Family planning providers’ bias can be an issue here. A woman will not walk away from you if she knows her information is safe with you and that can only be assured by training and re-training of family planning providers.”

Uwala however urged the government to improve the capacity of family planning providers on the principle of counselling, privacy and confidentiality. “With this in place, women will have confidence in the health facilities closer to them and that in turn will help them to save money that they would have used to transport themselves to farther health facilities or pharmacies and ensure they don’t miss out their appointment, otherwise, the whole essence of family planning would be forfeited,” the reproductive health expert added.

The director, reproductive health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Kayode Afolabi, told LEADERSHIP that the study has brought up a lot of evidence that can inform practice and improve access to family planning services by women and girls in the country.

“Quality of care is highly emphasised as part of the findings of this study. Women look for quality services and that means we need to, on a continuous basis, strengthen the capacity of family planning service providers, train and retrain them on the need to not be biased and on confidentiality so that they will be able to provide quality services. headtopics.com

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“Also, geographic barriers come up as one reason why there could be hindrance to access to family planning. We at the ministry are working assiduously to ensure that service delivery points are available across the country, so that women can access family planning services at their convenience,” he added.

The director said the specific budget for the procurement of family planning commodities on an annual basis is $4million. “When combined with donor funding, the basket of family planning is $12million, but what is required to procure family planning services for women who need them is $24million, so we still have a deficit of $12 million.

“While government, donors and state governments are ensuring that family planning commodities are available at public health facilities, we must ensure that women access them at their convenience and without cost. That is the reason we must continue to train and retrain health workers, so that more women will have confidence in our various public hospitals,” Afolabi said.

Women tend to travel miles to access family planning services at facilities that offer quality services, the reproductive health coordinator, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Victoria Omoera, said and promised that the state government will continue to train and build the capacity of family planning providers. headtopics.com

Read more: LEADERSHIP Newspaper »

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