By Chukwudi Nwauba

Awka, April 26, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala has hailed the collaboration of “The Challenge Initiative (TCI), Development Communication Network (DevCom) with media practitioners in promoting Family Planning (FP), in the state.

Dr Okpala made the commendation during a Media Roundtable Meeting involving, Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) and other key stakeholders in the health sector at Cihcotel Hotel, Awka.

The commissioner assured them that his ministry would look into issues raised during the interactive section as well as support them in educating Ndi Anambra.

“This is really encouraging because it helps to move family planning uptake forward and it is commendable effort by TCI, that they have done marvelously well in the state by helping us in the area of FP.’’

According to him, the Family Planning Unit in his ministry has undergone some changes that aims at improving provision of services, training of staff members in the provision of FP in commodities.

“We have trained them, and also in provision of long acting contraceptive devices and as well as injectables like the new Depo-Provera that was brought into the state recently.

“Depo-Provera is the brand name of the birth control shot; it is an injectable form of the drug depot. It is a birth control method that women can get as a shot.

“We also introduce the religious people that they may not incline to the artificial family planning, so they have natural family planning to choose and we have an expert that will train them.

“From time to time we embark on FP outreaches in health facilities and communities educating people on the need to accept both the artificial and the natural method.’’

He noted that the uptake of FP in the state was at 7.3 per cent and currently the uptake is 17.2 per cent.

Dr Okpala said that his ministry had succeeded in including the FP budget line into the state budget.

“So, before now it was not into the budget of the state and we made sure that it is currently being incorporated every year and that Annual Operational Plan (AOP) is done for FP and we just finished the AOP recently.

“Cost Implementation Plan (CIP), for a 5-year duration has been done in the state, out of the 5-year plan in a year we look at the challenges as we are implementing it and restructure.’’ Director Public Health/Diseases Control, Dr Uchechukwu Onyejimbe represented the commissioner during the event. (MOI)

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