The Senior Program officer PSN-PACFaH@Scale Project,Dr Edwin AKPOTOR disclosed that task-shifting and task sharing policy could be achieved through the expansion of family planning and other Primary Health Care services.
According to him,PSN-PACFaH@Scale has advocated for the inclusion of family planning and contraceptives information data from Community Pharmacists (CPs) and Patent Medicines Vendors (PPMVs) in the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS), Community HMIS and other relevant documents.
“The ongoing review of the task-shifting and task sharing policy in Nigeria will boost private sector contribution, to improve access to family planning for women and girls and also help them to plan their lives”
Speaking during an advocacy visit to Dr Emmanuel Meribole, Director Health Planning, Research & Statistics of the federal Ministry of Health, Akpotor said only 30% of Nigerians access family planning commodities through public sector sources whereas the private sector provides over 60% of the needs.
Akpotor also quoted the 2013 National Demographic Health Survey, which said that Patent Medical stores also distributes 38% family planning commodities stating that the expansion of Family Planning services provided by Community Pharmacists and Patent Medicines Vendors will improve access and also help Nigeria to achieve its projected 27% Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) commitments by 2020.
He urged the department toSupport the inclusion of CSOs in the review process of the FP blue print, to ensure all stakeholders are involved in the policy planning stages for family planning in Nigeria.
In his response, Dr Meribolecommended PSN-PACFaH@Scale for the issues raised and assured that the department will see to it that all stakeholders are engaged for effective task shifting and task sharing policy implementation.
The expansion of Family Planning services provided by Community Pharmacists and Patent Medicines Vendors, is very crucial. “Most of the vendors provide some of the services illegally, but the Ministry is considering the expansion to ensure that certain FP services are expanded to improve access for women and girls”