NIGERIA – Nigerian Minister for Health, Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora, has announced the ministry will soon introduce the Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Subcutaneous Injection (DMPA-SC) which allows self-injection in hard to reach places.

This is an effort to ensure sustainable family planning in the country.

“It is indeed very useful for ensuring continuation subsequent doses in hard-to-reach areas as clients will be given some vials to take home after some training on its use,” Mamora said.

The product which has been formulated to allow for self-injection is considered a game-changer in Nigeria’s family planning landscape.

It also promotes maternal and child survival with a potential for reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity by 30 per cent,” he said.

According to WHO, the under-five mortality ratio in Nigeria is 201 per 1000 live births meaning that one in five Nigerian children never reach the age of 5.

Close to 200 million people inhabit Nigeria, considered Africa’s most populous country. Nigeria is also the country where nearly 20% of all global maternal deaths happen.

Between 2005 and 2015, it is estimated that over 600,000 maternal deaths and no less than 900,000 maternal near-miss cases occurred in the country.

WHO adds that poor women in remote areas are the least likely to receive adequate healthcare. This is especially true for regions with low numbers of skilled health workers, such as sub-Saharan Africa.

Therefore, Nigeria has been collaborating with development partners to build synergy toward provision of quality family planning information services for the purposes of prevention of unintended pregnancies and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

The government instituted the Free Family Planning Commodities Policy in 2014 to address lack of access to FP information and services because of cost.

This Policy was adopted after a study showed that a significant percentage of Nigerians of reproductive age were unable to access FP information services.

Ministry of Health is also in the process of finalizing modalities for inclusion of Hormonal Intrauterine Device in Nigeria’s public health system,” Mamora explained.

Speaking, the National Coordinator Rotary, Reproductive Maternal and Child Health (RMCH), Prof. Emmanuel Lufadeju said that the overall goal for the training was to inform all sexually active women and men that they could freely access family planning products and services.

Also, Mrs Adaora Anyanwutaku, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, said that the objective of the campaign would go a long way to educate and enlighten all sexually active women and men to access family planning products and services.

You will agree with me that there is an increasing level of maternal morbidity and mortality resulting from childbirth and pregnancy complications. This ugly situation calls for public information and enlightenment not only from the media but also from all relevant stakeholders and our international partners,” she said.

Anyanwutaku said the public campaign by the media and stakeholders would contribute to realization of better and smaller manageable families.

According to her, the combination of these channels will help reduce pregnancy complications substantially and improve the health status of our mothers and their children.