Today, women across Ibadan, Nigeria have access to modern family planning methods. And they have their local government to thank.
“Women take a central stage in this administration,” explained Honorable Taoreed Adeleke, Executive Chairman of the Ibadan South West Local Government Area. “I am also passionate because I have a wife, I have a mother and I know they have benefitted one way or the other, hence, my support for this noble cause [family planning].”
Hon. Adeleke demonstrated the full extent of his support for family planning by funding special capacity building trainings for local health providers. He was approached by Dr. Adedoyin, K.A., Medical Officer for Health, with a proposal requesting financing for trainings in long acting family planning methods for 33 health care providers, including nurses, community health extension workers and community health officers, when high staff turnover left few health workers in Ibadan properly trained in these methods. For Dr. Adedoyin, it was imperative to advocate for these trainings. He explained that he was driven by: “The need to render and maintain quality RH/FP services at the facilities as well as create more awareness for people to adopt FP.”
Hon. Adeleke approved the funding, and the trainings were run by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), a five year (2009 ‐2014) project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU•CCP) that aims to increase the use of modern family planning methods among the urban poor in Nigeria. As part of its efforts, NURHI has spent the past three years training providers in family planning counseling and provision of IUDs and implants, and improving health facility management systems.
Hon. Adeleke lauded NURHI’s efforts, saying, “From what I have heard and seen, NURHI has done tremendously well for humanity. I am very aware of FP through all the information you are giving out on radio, TV, community outreaches and events on daily basis. I know of very high mortality rate before NURHI came and how you have been working to reduce it drastically.”
“This is the first Chairman to make money available for training of his officers for FP specifically,” explained NURHI State Team Leader, Mrs. Stella Akinso, enthusiastically. She expressed hope that other Local Government Area Chairmen will follow Hon. Adelke’s example and put family planning at the forefront of their funding.
NURHI has undertaken strategic advocacy initiatives to improve political will and financing for family planning at both the state and local government levels. The advocacy efforts of Dr. Adedoyin, and the subsequent generous support from Hon. Adeleke exemplify the leadership NURHI is striving for in the provision of quality FP services. And the women of Nigeria are the happy beneficiaries of these efforts.