In Niger, a Local Leader Makes Family Planning a Priority
In Niger, where the modern contraceptive prevalence rate is 18.1 and the total fertility rate is 7.6, supporting family planning initiatives has become a national priority. In 2012, as part of the Ouagadougou Partnership, the country set ambitious goals to significantly improve its modern contraceptive prevalence rate. Against this backdrop, Niger developed a costed implementation plan (CIP) for family planning that identifies the resources required for the implementation of priority activities and the purchase of contraceptive products to reach family planning targets.
The CIP identified an implementation cost of approximately 64 billion West African francs (FCFA), or US$128 million, that would be required to support the plan’s activities and initiatives—far surpassing the national government’s available funding resources. Garnering support from municipal leaders through evidence-based advocacy is essential to mobilizing the resources required to implement the country’s family planning and reproductive health program.
Following an HP+-supported regional workshop held in August 2018 aimed at engaging community leaders in family planning advocacy to support CIP implementation, local leaders began to take action. In the southwestern city of Dosso, Mayor Issoufou Idrissa has invested FCFA 57 million (US$97,500) over a period of six months for the purchase of family planning products and the financing of income-generating activities for women in the municipality—about 2.7 million individuals.
Of the FCFA 57 million, 40 million (US$68,000) has been allocated to the rehabilitation of health centers. Nine million (US$15,000) has been reserved for the purchase of medical supplies for pregnant women and consumables for the insertion and removal of contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices in health facilities. And 8 million (US$14,000) has been allocated to income-generating activities for women—amounting to about 50,000 (US$85) per woman in the municipality.
These resources have already enabled health facilities in the municipality to provide high-quality family planning/reproductive health services to 966 new users. Mayor Idrissa’s commitment to supporting family planning initiatives by mobilizing local resources exemplifies the immediate, effective impact that leaders at all levels can have in improving the health and well-being of their communities.