Stakeholders in Family Planning and Birth Control have appealed to the male gender to play a more active role in family planning, saying it remains a strategic way for partners to check the low-level application of contraceptives.
The call was made by participants at One-day family planning stakeholders meeting organised by Marie Stopes International Organisation on Friday in Lokoja.
The programme, supported by United States Agency for International Development, USAID, was designed for stakeholders and Civil Society Organisations, CSOs working on Family Health.
The participants said that there was need for involvement of men in the family planning chain to stimulate the interest of the male gender and discourage the age-long disinterest.
According to the participants, majority of the male folks never attended counselling or any form of birth control programmes, adding, “Effective family planning is a two-way thing.
“There can’t be an effective birth control where a large percentage of the male population is not receptive to contraception and neither encourages their spouses in that direction,” he expressed.
Speaking earlier, the state Team Leader of Marie Stopes International Organisation of Nigeria, Dooshima Agur said the organisation was implementing a USAID project on Family Health Plus, FH+, in the state.
Agur said the USAID project with grant for a three-year span running in 20 states of the federation, including Kogi state was aimed at creating demand and increasing access to quality family planning services.
According to her, it is also focused on promoting the uptake of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives, stressing that the project would effectively deliver the benefits of improved family planning such as reduced maternal, neo-natal, infant and under-5 mortalities.
She said the programme would be partly achieved through establishment of Family Planning Advocacy Working Groups, FPAWG, in collaboration with a coalition of CSOs and office of the coordinator of family planning in the state Ministry of Health.
Presenting a paper on Overview of Advocacy components of FH+ Project, Policy and Advocacy officer, Mr. Bello Bisala identified policy as the main advocacy issue that would make delivery of family planning services affordable.
Bisala, who emphasised the importance of political leaders and traditional rulers in family planning advocacy added that a group would soon be inaugurated to develop an action plan, network and build partnerships, among others.