Marie Stopes International Organization, Nigeria Mission, said it has secured a three-year grant to improve the use of contraceptives among women in 13 states of Nigeria.
The Senior Programme Manager of the project, Mr Sam Amadi, said at the roll out exercise of the Programme in Jalingo on Friday that the grant was meant to implement the Women Integrated Health Services (WISH) Project in 13 states selected from the Northeast and Northwest as well as Benue in North Central.
He explained that Marie Stopes Nigeria, funded by UKaid, IPAs and dkt Health, among others, which opened its first clinic in Nigeria in 2009, became one of the first providers of long-acting and permanent contraception in the country.
“We estimate that more than 10 per cent of women now using contraception in Nigeria were provided with their method by us,” he said.
Amadi said that while by 2010 there was an estimated 12,000 women in Nigeria using a form of contraception that was provided by Marie Stopes, by the end of 2015, the number had increased to more than 500,000 women, majority of which opted for long-acting and reversible implant method of family planning.
“This indicates that we are changing patterns of contraceptives use across Nigeria,” he said.
He stressed that in implementing the new strategy, Marie Stopes would engage with community and individuals to increase knowledge and community support for women to make informed sexual and reproductive health decisions.
The organization would also engage at the national level to improve policies, government financing, commodity security and public sector sexual and reproductive health capacity and services, the official said.
Similarly, he said, Marie Stopes would be supporting the private sector’s ability to provide access to quality voluntary family planning and other sexual reproduction health services to eliminate barriers for young and marginalised women in the country.
He called on the Taraba State Primary Health Care Development Agency and other development partners to work with Marie Stopes to improve knowledge and importance of child spacing especially in rural communities.
The Executive Secretary of the state Primary Health Care Agency, Alhaji Aminu Hassan, said the intervention by Marie Stopes in the sexual reproductive services was timely.
Hassan who was represented by the Secretary of the Agency, Mrs Indo Marckson, assured Marie Stopes of the cooperation of the State Government in providing its services, which is free, to the citizens.
The Marie Stopes grant, which will last till 2020, is to cover Jigawa, Zamfara, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Gombe states.
Others include Taraba, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Sokoto and Katsina states.