SAYANA PRESS: CRSG aimed at Improving Maternal Health through Family Planning

Reading Time: 3 minutes

DG Betta Edu, contingent at the Sayana Press: SMOH, CRSPHCDA, Action Health Incorporated (AHI) with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Charles Ekanem|6 November 2016

Family planning is a potent vaccine for maternal mortality; Sayana press a new welcomed vaccine! – Dr. Betta Edu

There was a high level stakeholders advocacy meeting convened by the SMOH, CRSPHCDA, Action Health Incorporated (AHI) with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at Channels View Hotels, Calabar to improve maternal health and outcomes for girls and women of reproductive age through advocacy for the scale up of Sayana Press-Projectin-Only injectable contraceptive in Cross River State.

Speaking, Executive Director of Action Health Incorporated, Mrs Adenike Esiet said until now access to injectables have often been limited to clinic settings but Sayana Press requires only minimal training making it suitable for community based distribution. According to her, in Nigeria specific efforts to contribute to achievement of specified contraceptive prevalence rate  (CPR) target of 36℅ by 2018 as indicated in the National Strategic Health  Development Plan 2009 including supply improvement and demand generation activities that would support intervention to improve access to family planning. "therefore I call for urgent steps to expand  access to voluntary family planning service through introduction of Sayana Press within the right based approach.

Our focus LGAs or the phase one of this project are Calabar South, Akpabuyo, Biase, Yakurr, Akamkpa and Odukpani.

DG CRSPHCDA, Dr Betta Edu in her remarks reminded the stakeholders of state government desire to support any Organization willing to work with the state to fight  maternal mortality in the state. Less than 14% of our women in Cross River State have access to family planning services. Maternal mortality is still as high as 872 deaths / 100,000 live birth. This Figures are alarming. Our women in rural areas use all forms of crude unacceptable Family planning methods from drinking salt in water, sweepeeos, inserting grass into the reproductive organs, wearing charms and drinking herbal concoction which is deadly.

All stake holders must find new innovative ways to push, advocate and increase access to Family planning in our rural areas. Fortunately, Her Excellency Dr . Mrs Linda Ayade has earmarked Maternal and infant mortality as one of the core areas to tackle through her pet project, Mediatrix Development Foundation by scaling up programs across the 18 LGAs.

Dr Edu noted that Family Planning plays a central role in changing and improving the lives of women and contributing to the decrease of maternal and infant mortality, reduces recourse to abortion, including unsafe abortion and HIV transmission. In her words, she said FP are often highly sensitive and progress depends on multi pronged strategies that include supply, demand, access and quality care in an enabling environment including political and financial commitment and knowledge management.

Earlier Speaking, Head of UNFPA CRS, Mr Ken Ehouzou said contraception and family planning plays a major role in changing and improving the lives of women and girls by contributing to a decrease of maternal mortality and unsafe abortion.

Declaring the meeting open, Elder Egu Omini, Acting Permanent Secretary, SMOH who represented Honorable Commissioner of Health CRS, Dr Inyang Asibong said about 1, in 3 maternal deaths could be avoided by delaying motherhood spacing births, preventing unintended pregnancies and avoiding unsafely performed abortions. he went on to pour encomium to UNFPA the facilitators of Sayana  Press for their wonderful work in the state by asking them not to get tired of working for Cross River State because they are so many things to be done that will touch the lives of the people.

Present at the meeting was Dr Sonny Omini, Director Public Health SMOH who had earlier open the meeting said injectable contraceptives are among the World's most popular methods for preventing pregnancy, offering women safe and effective protection, convenience and privacy. Other attendees are Permanent Secretaries from Ministry of Information, Women Affairs, Youth and sport, Chairman Local Government Commission, NYSC director and PHC coordinators from the 6 focus LGAs.

The implementing Partners for the SAYANA PRESS project Action Health Incorporated will roll out implementation plan for Sayana  Press Scale up in 6 focus LGAs in the Cross River state

Charles Ekanem
Writes from Calabar