By Muhammad Nasir
In a significant step toward advancing family planning initiatives, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Sokoto State Government jointly unveiled the National Guidelines for State-Funded Procurement of Family Planning (FP) Commodities on Thursday.
Leading the unveiling was the State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Idris Gobir, who underscored the guidelines’ crucial role in addressing gaps within the family planning supply chain.
Represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Dade-Adare, the Commissioner for Local Government, Gobir emphasised the state’s commitment to addressing healthcare challenges and aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.
Highlighting the importance of family planning in achieving both national and international development goals, Gobir acknowledged the pivotal role of access to contraceptives in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and fostering economic growth.
He announced the establishment of a dedicated fund for family planning, emphasising specific budget allocation and fund release for procurement purposes.
“This commitment aims to support program trainings, coordination meetings, sensitization, supervision, and Last Mile Distribution (LMD),” explained the deputy governor.
He further disclosed the creation of the Family Planning Technical Working Group to enhance coordination efforts, expressing gratitude to implementing partners supporting the family planning program.
The wife of the state governor, Hajiya Fatima Aliyu, represented by Hajiya Binta Usman, the Executive Secretary of Sokoto Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SOSMEDA), emphasised the pivotal role of family planning in improving societal health and overall family growth.
Aliyu expressed appreciation to UNFPA and other partners for their contributions to the state’s healthcare initiatives.
During UNFPA’s presentation, Dr Audu Alayande, Assistant Representative and Reproductive Health Specialist, recommended the creation of a distinct budget line for Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) activities.
He suggested allocating one percent of the annual health budget, ensuring cash backing for the procurement of family planning commodities.
This collaborative effort sets the stage for a more robust and accessible family planning framework in Sokoto State, aiming to positively impact the health and well-being of its residents.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu