The Lagos State Government, in partnership with The Challenge Initiative (TCI), has reiterated its commitment to strengthening the state’s health system, particularly in the area of reproductive health and family planning, pledging easier access with little or no constraints for residents.
State Reproductive Health Coordinator Dr. Victoria Omoera said this during a two-day resource mobilization and proposal development capacity building for members of various advocacy networks in the state.
Omoera, during the program organized in conjunction with TCI, said that it has become imperative to ensure that members have the knowledge and skills required to become effective in carrying out their activities in order to achieve the desired results.
Speaking further, she said the state has always and will continue to allocate budgetary funds for family planning, as its importance to the state’s development is enormous, describing TCI as “ongoing partners.”
She added that the state has also started to self-procure reproductive health commodities in anticipation of the decrease or outright end of private donations, to ensure that the sector maintains its gains and grows. also presses on them.
Omoera also said government alone cannot do it all, “so we rely on our key stakeholders to help spread the importance of reproductive health and its socio-economic benefits as well as advocate for more resources in the implementation of high-impact interventions”.
She revealed that the state experienced disruptions in family planning services at the advent of COVID-19, but was able to overcome the challenges due to its stubbornness.
“We have also trained healthcare workers in infection prevention and control to build our clients’ confidence in the system. »
She suggested that the state has an operational plan for family planning, which serves as a model for both the state government and partners. “As a state, there is a budgetary provision for family planning and I am happy to say that some of the interventions that partners have withdrawn from are supported by the state government. We continue to have funds dedicated to family planning.
“Going forward, as a state, we are considering purchasing products on our own, because we know the amount of product we are getting is not what we want. But over the years, we have been able to secure funding for capacity building, supportive supervision, and coordination meetings, among others. We are now extending our intervention to the private sector through the Lagos State Health Management Agency. »
She revealed that the state government’s partnership with TCI is highly valued as it serves as a scale-up of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative. “But the good thing about this project is that everyone comes together to decide on the area of intervention, planning, implementation and evaluation.”
Speaking on the essence of capacity building, Program Manager, TCI, Dr. Olukunle Omotoso said that one of their main focus is capacity building and systems strengthening.
“We are committed to leaving behind a legacy that others can follow. We don’t just want to come and support the intervention of the program and leave people as they are. We are known for state-led intervention whereby we allow government and non-governmental organizations to conduct interventions in their own areas.
He added that the relationship with the Lagos State Government has been fruitful due to the enabling environment, which has led to better health indices in the state.
“Our program uses family planning to affect all reproductive health issues, we also work in the area of system strengthening. We know that in Nigeria some of the systems have been weakened by a myriad of issues. So we came support the state government in strengthening the system so that we can have a rewarding program and the government can meet the needs of citizens in the area of family planning and reproductive health.
Attending were members of the Media Action for Public Health Initiative, Sustainable Public Health Advocacy Initiative, Interfaith Public Health Advocacy Lagos, and Chairs of the Local Councils Social Mobilization Committee, among others.