By Ikenna Osuoha
Ms Ulla Mueller, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative in Nigeria, says the country has 15.1 per cent unmet need for family planning.
Mueller disclosed this in Abuja at NAN Forum, the flagship interview programme of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to her, 15.1 per cent of Nigerian women and girls who want Family Planning services do not have access to it due many reasons.
“We have an unmet need in Nigeria which is 15.1 per cent. That basically means that 15.1 per cent of women between 15 and 40 want to access contraception, but are denied access.
” In numbers, that is about four million women who want it right now as you and I sit, want to access contraception and have no access,” she said.
Mueller said UNFPA needed to work more in partnership with development partners in ensuring commodity security.
According to her, a national commodity basket is being supported by UNFPA with focus on ensuring availability.
She added that the emphasis is in making sure the supply chain works using the short term or long term methods.
”That is one of the most critical things that needs to be available for women.
“So if they access services, they can actually get the method of choice. We are also working to build capacity of healthcare workers,” she said.
She also said Nigeria’s Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (MCPR) and Traditional Contraceptives Prevalence Rate (TCPR), which stood at 12 per cent and 17 per cent respectively, were very low and a major concern to UNFPA.
Mueller, who called for advocacy for more women’s access to family planning commodity basket, however, congratulated many of the states on their access.
‘We also have more and more states now using the basket. so I think some of the achievements is really the FP 20 commitment.
“It is really accessibility, availability and informing women that they have a right to choice,” she said. (NAN)