Families Plan for their Future Ensuring access to and availability of family planning and reproductive health commodities in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the population is growing faster than the economy, exacerbating poverty levels. As a result, access to voluntary family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) products and services has become a national priority.

The USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project supplies central medical stores and clinics in Nigeria with a variety of contraceptives so patients can choose the method that best suits their need. Equally important, GHSC-PSM provides hands-on training to health facility workers across the country on how to manage stock levels to ensure there is always a reliable supply. These central level investments to strengthen systems are having a noticeable improvement on the lives of patients.

Take Taiwo, for example. She decided to be proactive about seeking FP/RH care after her second child was born.

‘As a young mother of two children, I have come to enroll for family planning, and I decided to do this early to avoid the danger of having too many children.’

Taiwo is one of many women receiving contraceptives from Apata, the primary public health facility in Nigeria's Oyo State. At Apata, she is met by a team of dedicated and professional health care workers, including Nurse Folashade, pictured with her above.

Top: Nurse Elizabeth advises a mother on the contraceptive methods available to her. Bottom: Nurse Folashade (left) and Nurse Anike (right) fill out their family planning registers. Photo credit: Anthony Abu/GHSC-PSM

In May 2019, GHSC-PSM trained 884 health workers in contraceptive health supply chain management in selected states, including Oyo. Elizabeth, Folashade and Anike were among those trained.

Training workshops on logistics management ensure the smooth flow of commodities, lessen the risk of loss, prevent fluctuation in stock availability, and avert stockouts, over-stocking, negligence, and theft.

Effective logistics management also reduces the administrative burden on staff, freeing up their time and ultimately improving service to patients.

For patients like Taiwo, it's important to be able to take good care of her children.

"People who have many children cannot take care of them; many of these children end up on the street, some work as house-help, others are given over to guardians who often subject them to horrible conditions."

Similarly, ten years ago, Olubunmi decided to enroll for family planning after her third child. Since then, she has happily watched her children grow. She believes having fewer children enables her to adequately provide for their needs and education.

"The availability of contraceptives in this facility has made it easier for me and many other women to space child-birth and plan our families better", Olubunmi said.

To date, GHSC-PSM has shipped 9,250,883 family planning commodities that will provide nearly 3.5 million couple years protection to women in Nigeria. With the project's support and training in logistics management, women like Taiwo and Olubunmi can plan the number of children they have and give every child the attention they need to thrive.

As Taiwo says, "Family planning is for the sake of the child".

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GHSC-PSM/Anthony Abu