From Ahmad Mohammed, Bauchi
An Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Pathfinder International Abuja, has commenced building the capacity of Gombe State stakeholders to scale up childbirth spacing (CBS) policies in the state.
Dr Sakina Bello, the Senior Programme Advisor of the NGO, disclosed this to the Newsmen in Bauchi on Tuesday at the commencement of the five-day capacity building in Gombe State.
Bello said that the capacity building for the stakeholders would improve and ensure women access high-quality, respectful maternal care from their homes to the health facility.
“The capacity building is also to improve access to family planning among undeserved populations in the state by providing technical leadership to the stakeholders,’’ she said
According to the senior programme advisor, the stakeholders will advocate to increase understanding at the policy level of the linkages between poverty, development, and family planning.
“They must ensure that family planning services are cost-effective, accessible and have good quality.
“The capacity building will also ensure the stakeholders create demand for family planning and improve financial sustainability of family planning.
“The training will also improve stakeholders’ techniques to advocate for budget provision, tracking releases and implementation of the funds.’’
Bello pointed out that successful advocacy will clarify the connection between family planning, health and development growth.
The senior programme advisor urged the stakeholders to ensure that decision-makers, policymakers understand the linkages between family planning, gender equity, and maternal and child health.
She stressed that understanding these linkages would support long-term family planning programmes’ impact and sustainability in the state.
“That will effectively reshape service delivery to ensure affordability, accessibility and quality, and will help maximise the reach of family planning services,’’ Bello added.
On his part Alhaji Alhassan Yahaya, the Chairman, Advocacy Working Group on Child Spacing, Gombe State, commended Pathfinder International for building the capacity of stakeholders.
Yahaya lauded the NGO for giving them the needed support to advocate for integrating family planning.
According to him, the NGO is providing other health services that meet the special needs of different populations and bring family planning services to new audiences in the state.
Yahaya said the capacity building would strengthen day-to-day service delivery, improve the quality of care that family planning clients receive.
“Behavior change communication including client education, community mobilisation and mass media has the potential to change community norms as well as individual attitudes.
The chairman said the group would advocate to policymakers, mobilise and sensitise communities on the need to embrace child spacing to reduce maternal mortality in the state.
Our correspondent report that stakeholders at the capacity building include: the media, traditional and religious leaders, Civil Society Organisations and government officials from relevant ministries.