By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
Towards improving uptake of Family Planning Services (FP) in hard-to-reach (HTR) areas of Bauchi State, an England based NGO, Marie Stopes International Organization of Nigeria (MSION) has commenced two days meeting to develop 2022 Work Plan that would fast rack accessibility of FP services in those communities.
Speaking shortly before the commencement of the meeting, the North East Coordinator of Marie Stopes, Hussaina Maji said the objective of the meeting was to engage with Local Government Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Coordinators in the identification, site selection and outreach scheduling of FP services for the coming year 2022.
Maji also said that the meeting will afford participants, Marie Stopes and other key stakeholders to X-ray it’s outreach activities in the passing year. This, according to the North East Coordinator, “will assist in proffering solutions to identified challenges in providing FP services through agreed channels”.
While commending the MCH LG Coordinators for their effort in upscaling FP services in their domains, Maji emphasised on the need for proper documentation that serves as an evidence that can used in planning and implementation of activities in FP services.
Also speaking, the FP Coordinator at the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) Hajara Yahaya, talked extensively on the need for the participants to seek for updated information regarding Family Planning services.
“When you are adequately informed on emerging issues regarding FP, you will be in a better position to cascade such knowledge to your service providers, which will in educate clients during outreach engagements or at the facility”, said Yahaya.
She further reiterated that, “creating friendly environment in your facilities through one-on-one engagement does only encourage uptake of services, but also ensures sustainability”.
Yahaya also implore the LG MCH Coordinators to always work as team, with hosts communities, in order to attract buy-in of the people. She stressed that, “a satisfied FP client is your number one community advocate”.
In an interview with journalists outside the meeting, Northern Marketing and Communication Advisor of Marie Stopes, Ibrahim Yusuf called on the Bauchi State Government, through the SPHCDA, to explore avenues on how to ensure sustainability of the FP outreach services in order to make the services accessible to clients.
On what type of services Marie Stopes provide in their activities, Yusuf said that, “we build a sustainable mobilization mechanism for outreach services that is being championed by LG MCH Coordinators . We mobilize communities to demand for FP services hand in hand with facilitating supply of FP commodities to cater for the demand”.
Our correspondent reports that the work plan meeting attracted all the LG MCH Coordinators and some staff of the SPHCDA.
The meeting is expected to come up with an action point that will pave the way for the successful implementation of the outreach work plan