Delta Government has released the sum of N20 million to boost the purchase of consumables for Family Planning(FP) programmes in the state.
Dr Christian Teshola, State Coordinator, Reproductive Health and Family Planning (FP), who disclosed this on Monday during a chart with journalists in Asaba, said 53,583 women took up FP for the first time in 2019 in the state.
He said that the release was the budget line for FP in 2020, adding that it was the first time the state Government had approved a release for FP programmes.
According to Tesola, His Excellency, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa early this year has magnanimously approved and released the N20 million budgeted specially for Family planning in the state.
He noted that the various partners and advocacy groups of the programmes advocated for a dedicated budget line for FP and had pushed and succeeded in securing a budgetary provision for FP in 2018 and in 2019.
“But the budgets were not released for 2018 and 2019 but in 2020, the sum of N20 million was budgeted and it has been released to boost family planning activities in the state.
“In 2019, we have 53, 583 women new acceptors of FP in the state.
“With the budget release, issues of consumables among other services remain free for up takers as each facility in the state will be adequately provided for,” Tesola said.
He assured that the funds would be utilised in purchasing FP consumables to make up takers have free access to the programmes.
He lauded the government for deeming it right to release the funds, while thanking partners and the media for their continued advocacy to ensure that people access the services to plan their families.
The Director of Public Health, Dr Philomena Okeowo, said that sustaining the programme depended on counterpart funding.
She noted that the importance of family planning could not be overemphasized, adding that the Gov. Okowa led administration has zero tolerance for maternal and under five mortality which could be reduced through adequate family planning application.
She said that the present economic situation underscores the need for families to adopt family planning programme in the country to ensure good and healthy living.
“So, for what His Excellency has done, we are grateful and one of requirement for family planning in the state is that we must have counterpart funding,” she said.
Mrs Nwanne Kalu, State Programme Coordinator, The Challenge Initiative (TCI), speaking on behave of partners, said Gov. Okowa remained a champion for family planning in the state.
“Before 2017, there was no budget line for FP in Delta, in 2018 because of the push by partners and other advocacy group, a budget was provided and this is a realisation by government that there was need for budgeting for FP.
“With the release of the N20 million for FP, it is the first time a budget line is being released by Delta Government.
“The governor is not only a champion for FP but he has demonstrated his commitment for the programme by approving the release of the budget provision for FP in the state.
“The partners are asking the governor to increase the vote for the programme because it has capacity to impact other health programmes positively,” Kalu said.
The Chairperson, Advocacy Core Group, Mrs Rachael Obodo-Obunseli, said it was a long journey to securing the release of the budget provision for FP programme in the state.
“However, it is an achievement that we are able to secure a release of the fund for the programme.
“We appreciate all who made the release possible and the media. But as a group, we are asking that government increase the budget line for FP in the state,” she said.