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Nigeria spent $3m on contraceptives in 2011 -Minister

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Mohammed Ali Pate, has disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health contributed $3million for the procurement of contraceptive commodities in 2011, adding that the contribution would henceforth be an annual practice.

Pate stated this in Lagos, on Thursday, during the United States Agency for International Development(USAID)’s project for Strengthening Private Sector Family Planning and Reproductive Services in Nigeria.

He said the implementation of the policy of free distribution of contraceptive commodities, which kicked off in Abuja last year, would remove financial difficulty in the accessing family planning commodities and ensure that women, men and youths especially those residing in rural areas use them for healthy timing of pregnancy, proper child spacing as well as prevention of sexually transmitted infections(STIs) including HIV.

He regretted that over the years, family planning in Nigeria had received little attention due to other competing priorities adding that this had contributed to low contraceptive prevalence rate, high total fertility rate and high unmet need for family planning especially in hard- to- reach areas in the country

According to the minister, studies had shown that family planning was one of the most cost-effective interventions that could reduce maternal and child mortality by as much as 30 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

“Data from the National Demographic Health Survey(NDHS) 2008 indicates that while Nigeria is making progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we still have a lot to do in reducing high mortality rate, high total fertility rate and high unmet need for family planning,” he said.

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