The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) in partnership with Development Research and Project Center (DRPC), through the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PACFaH@Scale) project, is hosting a webinar Friday, July 3.

The online event is titled: “Securing The Funding Gap For Family Planning In The Face Of COVID-19.”

A set of experts and key stakeholders in the family planning field are expected to attend this webinar. This includes the government, with Lawrence Anyanwu, civil society advocates with Minnie Oseji, Ejike Oji, Habib Muhammad Saduaki and Ekenem Isichei.

The relevance of this subject matter is one that threatens gains made in the health sector this past decade. Recently, reports have been made of a decline in health intervention activities and services including in the family planning sector.

According to the civil society organisation, PACFaH@Scale, the webinar is deemed relevant by the recent budgetary cuts in the country.

In 2019, the Federal Ministry of Health released N300 million naira out of the N1.2bn proposed in the budget for family planning. This represented a 75 per cent cut from the N1.2bn approved. The Federal Ministry of Health then committed to a follow-up of N900m from Federal-Ministry-of-Health-Service-wide vote to meet the 2019 commitment of N1.2 bn.

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In 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria has proposed N1.2bn for family planning in the budget but there is still a funding gap as this fund is for the purchase of family planning commodities.

“As such, what PTCIJ aims to achieve with this webinar is to consolidate and sustain the government’s commitment towards family planning funding in the country, as well as explore the true extent of the impact of the funding gap on the family planning sector.

“It is also hoped that this webinar opens up discussions on more sustainable ways of funding family planning in Nigeria going forward,” a statement on the webinar, highlighted.

PACFaH@Scale noted that “the webinar is therefore designed to educate the public, civil society organizations, and to engage with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health on the need to fulfil this commitment to releasing the service-wide vote of N900 million for the purchase of family planning commodities.”

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