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Family Planning, pillar of child survival – Akanbiemu

By Kemi Olatunde

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Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA), Dr. Francis Akanbiemu has described Family Planning as one of the strongest pillars in child survival.

He spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the agency in collaboration with a partner, Marie Stopes International (MSI) Nigeria Reproductive Choices on family planning and community involvement in Akure on Thursday.

According to him, the role of family planning in maternal and child survival cannot be overemphasized, stating that the intervention saves lives.

Akanbiemu who noted that family planning is a choice which must be made from a choice position stressed the need for the usage of motivational words in health education as regards reproductive choices stating that people should not be forced to adopt a particular choice.

Director, Medical Services of the Agency, Dr. Paulinus Omode called for a change of orientation in communities towards family planning so as to encourage improvement especially in the area of service utilisation saying “participants and leaders of communities have been specifically chosen for proper utilisation of family planning services in the state.”

Representative, Family Planning Coordinator, Mrs Ronke Agunbiade stated that the meeting aimed at increasing the understanding of the vision, mission, objectives, outlets, strategies and activities of the partner, increasing stakeholders’ understanding of sexual reproductive health information, review and adopt new working ways in strengthening the partnership and leveraging on government and community support for programme sustainability and ownership.

Representative of the Director, Community Health Services and Education who doubles as the Deputy Director, Advocacy and Community, Mrs Adeyinka Olorunfemi while speaking on the roles of Ward Developmental Committee (WDC), stated that it was designed as a social strategy for encouraging community participation and access to PHC services including family planning.

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According to her, marital situations, traditional and cultural practices, taboos and religious practices play major roles in the decision of family planning stressing the need for Family Planning and health education information to be well discussed with community leaders.

Representative of Marie Stopes in Ondo State, Israel Adedotun Adedoyin expressed appreciation to participants in ensuring that women of reproductive age have access to qualitative family planning care in all PHC centres in the state.

He explained that the organization has been supporting the state by reaching out to women especially those in the hard to reach areas on family planning adding that it also support private health facilities in six Local Government Areas of the state.

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