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FG Releases $11.5m For Condoms To Boost Family Planning Moves

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ABUJA, August 31, (THEWILL) - The Federal Government has approved the sum of $11.5million for the purchase of condoms and other family planning materials, an official of the Federal Ministry of Health revealed on Friday.

Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, the director of family health in the Federal Ministry of Health, made the disclosure on Friday at the 47th National Council Meeting of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria.

“Last year, in order to reduce maternal mortality rate, the government proclaimed that reproductive health commodities and family planning commodities like condoms and implants be made free,” she said.

“So, the government along with the partners made a forecast as to what we need in the country, and contributed $3million in 2011 through a Memorandum of Understanding, which we implemented.”

She added that the Nigerian government was responding well to international efforts to increase the commitment of governments all over the world to family planning, after a family planning summit on 11th July in London organised by the Department for International Development (DFID) and other partners.

“Nigeria came in a big way and Mr. President, through the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate, announced the government’s commitment to the world with additional $8.3m reproductive health commodities.”

She lamented the maternal mortality rate in the country but refrained from making specific pronouncements on future statistics until next year’s National Demographic Health Survey.

“The Federal Government is also committed to reducing maternal mortality rate in the country. For now, our maternal mortality rate is 545 per 100,000 live births and you will agree with me that it is very high and nothing to be proud of,” she said.

“The Federal Government is collaborating with international agencies such as UNFPA, DFID, USIS, USAID, and we are appealing to states for support because health is on the concurrent list.”

She promised that although the Federal Government has a plan and policy for reducing maternal mortality, it would not force states to adopt them.

“We can only advocate for them; they make requests to us as regards what they need but it is for them to ensure that these commodities reach the grass roots,” she said.