USAID Agency trains personnel in 44 private health facilities on Family Planning methods

Mrs Iroko, the Chief of SHOPS, said that the training was under the USAID-SHOPS Project aimed at building the capacity of the private health sector.

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A group of Kenyan women listen during a course at the local maternity facility on what Islam allows and does not allow in terms of family planning, and on the benefits of family planning at a village in north-eastern Wajir County play

A group of Kenyan women listen during a course at the local maternity facility on what Islam allows and does not allow in terms of family planning, and on the benefits of family planning at a village in north-eastern Wajir County

(AFP)
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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says it has trained personnel in 44 private hospitals in Nasarawa on improved quality family planning methods.

Mrs Ayodele Iroko, the Chief of Party, Strengthening Health Organisation through Private Sector (SHOPS), Nigeria, made this known on Thursday in Lafia.

Iroko said that the training was under the USAID-SHOPS Project aimed at building the capacity of the private health sector toward improving the quality of family planning services.

She said that the initiative was to also increase access to such services.

According to her, the USAID-funded five year-project (2011-2016) was executed in six states including: Abia, Benue, Edo, Kaduna, Lagos and Nasrawa.

She said that for Nasarawa, the SHOPS programme was executed in nine local government areas, targeting doctors, nurses and community pharmacists.

Iroko said that the beneficiaries were trained in different family planning methods and maternal and child health-related issues.

She said that the training was extensive as it exposed them to all methods of family planning, as well as business management, to ensure effective service delivery.

Iroko said that personnel from the facilities were also trained in good record keeping aimed at facilitating accurate data collection.

“We built their capacity on what we call method mix which strengthens a particular private health provider to be able to provide every method of family planning services.

“We are sure that method mix is available in all the 44 private facilities trained in Nasarawa.

“Any client who goes in there for any method of family planning will not be turned away, but access quality method of choice,” she said.

The chief of party said that 115 community pharmacists were also trained on family wellness to effectively counsel clients to enable them to make informed choices in choosing family planning methods.

She said that six health association leaders in the state were also trained under the project on Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC).

Iroko said that the leaders would in turn train their members on the same procedure.

She urged the state Ministry of Health and those who have been trained in the private sector to scale up the training to cover other local government areas in the state.

In her remarks, Nancy Lowenthal, Office Director, Health Population and Nutrition, USAID Nigeria, said that the U.S. Government has committed 15.5 million dollars to the SHOPS project.

Lowenthal said that the project was a demonstration of the U.S. Government’s core principle of working in partnership with the Nigerian Government to reach both the public and private sector with quality healthcare services.

She said that USAID, through the project, had laid the foundation for the government of Nigeria, as well as the private sector, to build on in order to provide quality reproductive health services to the people.

“This is the cornerstone of improved primary healthcare and improving the outcome of both mother and children in Nasarawa and the country in general,” she said.

Also, Dr Daniel Iya, the Commissioner for Health in Nasarawa, lauded USAID for the project, saying that state government alone could not handle the demands of quality healthcare delivery.

He said that the state government would take up the challenge of adopting the project by scaling it up to cover other local government areas.

Iya said that through concerted efforts, the use of contraceptives in the state had risen to 18 per cent, one of 10 highest in the Northern part of the country.