HP+ Nigeria Holds Family Planning Advocates Workshop on FP Financing
A cross section of FP Advocates with the Director Family Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, during the FP Health Financing Workshop
April 24, 2017
By Bello Bissalla, Knowledge Management & Communication Advisor, HP+ Nigeria
Full implementation of the Task Sharing Policy and Funding for Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan (CIP) in all States were among the key issues Family Planning Advocates in Nigeria identified as priorities that need urgent attention to scale up access to voluntary safe and quality Family Planning services in Nigeria.
This prioritization was made when the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and Health Policy Plus (HP+) project hosted a high-level Family Planning (FP) Advocates’ workshop in Abuja. The event brought together prominent Nigerians from a wide variety of backgrounds to explore the challenges facing Family Planning in Nigeria and to commit to specific actions advocating for increased resources for FP intervention in Nigeria. Participants included religious leaders, elected officials, journalists, and leaders of business associations.
The Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Community on Health Services, Hon. Muhammad Usman, in his message committed to work with the advocates to promote appropriate policies that will lead to the release of funds for family planning interventions in Nigeria.
The Director of the Family Health Department at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Adebiyi, opened the meeting, stressing the role of advocates in improving family planning services access in Nigeria. She reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the FP2020 goal and re-echoed her confidence in the team of advocates and assured them of the support of the FMoH for their success.
Dr. Afolabi (Head FP/RH Division of the FMoH) presented the current landscape of family planning in Nigeria. He noted the following as some of the challenges facing FP intervention in Nigeria: limited and untimely release of government funds, donor dependency, difficulties with last mile distribution, and poor data management. He also noted, however, that National policies like the National Health Act, renewed political will, and efforts to increase planning and coordination across levels of government can all be advanced in family planning programming.
To equip advocates with evidence to support investment in Family Planning, Onoride Ezire, Country Director, HP+ Nigeria, presented the results of HP+’s supported recent RAPID analysis for Nigeria. The analysis projects future population growth, comparing a scenario based on current trends with one based on higher CPR and lower fertility. It clearly illustrates the impact of Nigeria's population growth on national development. This presentation demonstrates the urgency and importance of Nigeria’s investment in expanding coverage and uptake of FP services.
The rest of the technical presentations, led by members of the HP+ financing team, Megan Ginivan and Peter Oshaji, grounded participants in basic health financing concepts, the challenges Nigeria faces mobilizing domestic resources for health, and the challenges faced in financing family planning. Despite the size of Nigeria’s economy, public domestic resources for health remain insufficient. In 2017, only about 4% of the domestic budget was allocated to health. Further, budget allocations are not translating into expenditures. In 2014, for example, only 38% of the allocation was actually spent. Insufficient government spending on health contributes to donor dependency and a high burden of out-of-pocket spending. Over 70% of total health expenditure in Nigeria is financed out-of-pocket.
The technical presentations led to productive discussions facilitated by Dr. Nihinlola (HP+ Senior Advisor, Policy and Advocacy). From these discussions, key advocacy issues emerged across four main themes: budget allocation; donor dependence; state-level service delivery; and data generation and management. She guided participants in extracting and defining these issues and more importantly, in proposing the concrete actions they can take over the next six months to address them. FMoH and HP+ will be supporting the advocates by providing policy and advocacy briefs with the evidence to advance their objectives.