By Ahmad Umar
Gombe (Nigeria) – A Non-governmental Organization, Marie Stopes Nigeria has solicited the support of traditional and religious leaders in the country towards improving advocacy, mobilization and increase demand on uptake of Family Planning services.
Marie Stopes Regional Manager Northeast, Elizabeth Tondu told Journalists shortly after a Meeting with Religious and Traditional leaders in Gombe state that engaging Traditional and Religious leaders would contribute greatly to the 36 percent national target contraceptive prevalence rate.
“The traditional and religious leaders are key stakeholders and their involvement is an integral part of the success achieved and the meeting with them is an opportunity to attract government participation as key stakeholders and also to improve mobilization in the localities.
“This will ensure that the message is able to reach more clients in rural and per-urban communities and improved partnership with government and more participation of key stakeholders.
Elizabeth said that Marie Stopes has championed the concept of mobile outreach and public sector support in Nigeria which have increased access to modem contraceptives to the poor, vulnerable and hard to reach location.
It also provides free high quality short term, long acting and permanent methods of family planning to rural communities across Nigeria.
“Using the infrastructure of public health Centres, outreach teams increase contraceptive choices in these communities where existing public and private health clinics struggle to meet the needs of women and men
“Family planning has been identified as a pillar of safe motherhood in its ability to reduce the consequence of unintended pregnancies, including maternal and child mortality.”