For the First time, Dedicated Budget Line for Family Planning Created in Anambra State
For the very first time in its history, Anambra State, Nigeria, created a dedicated budget line for family planning. Before The Challenge Initiative began supporting Anambra, the State Ministry of Health had always had a composite budget line for reproductive health. In 2018, the state allocated more than $83,000 (N30million) in the budget for six reproductive health priority areas. Family planning as a component of the reproductive health budget had $27,740 (N10million) allocated to it.
Once the Initiative began activities, the need for a dedicated family planning budget line was brought to the fore and reiterated at every opportunity.
With support from the Initiative, the Anambra State Advocacy Core Group (ACG) was inaugurated and trained on a number of advocacy strategies including budget monitoring. During advocacy visits to policymakers, the ACG pushed for a separate budget line for family planning. In addition, they engaged the media, which aired messages on radio and television about the need for a budget line for family planning. Finally, the ACG monitored the state budget cycle and followed through during the 2019 budget call in August 2018.
All of these efforts yielded great results. The Commissioner for Health of Anambra State directed the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics to create a separate budget line with about $140,000 (N50million) allocated to family planning.
“This is the very first time that a unit will be given a separate budget line in the history of this Ministry. Family Planning unit is very lucky to have a partner like TCI that helps them to be heard,” said Edith Nwachukwu, the Head of Planning, Research and Statistics in the State Ministry of Health. “TCI should support the Family Planning unit to ensure their budgetary allocations are released; that is where the real challenge lies.”
In addition to ensuring adequate funding for 2019, the ACG has worked tirelessly to monitor and advocate for the timely release of the funds from the 2018 budget. As a result of the group’s activities, Anambra State has released $13,870 (N5million) out of the approved $27,740 (N10million) for family planning activities. The released funds are being spent to celebrate International Day of Families, training of health care providers on Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) provision and training of health care providers on DMPA-SC (Sayana Press).
The ACG is committed to continue to put pressure on the State to meet its commitments.