Monday, 27 November 2017

Scaling up Child Spacing to Achieve SDG 3, 5 in Northern Nigeria


The Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Human Services, through Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) in collaboration with the Child Spacing Technical Working Group and financial support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is organising a two-day regional consultative meeting on Child Spacing strategies for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  on maternal health in Northern  Nigeria from November 28 to 29 this year in Kaduna.

The conference will bring together about 200 participants comprising a wide range of stakeholders including policy makers, health workers, health educators, the media and Civil Society Organisations from the Local Government Areas of Northern Nigeria.

The main aim of the meeting is to build a consensus on a regional strategy for improvement of access and utilisation of reproductive health services and information in Northwest Nigeria by 2018.


According to the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), Nigeria is only 2% of the world’s population yet it accounts for over 10% of maternal deaths globally. Each day, 110 women succumb to pregnancy-related deaths with more women dying in Northern Nigeria.

Specifically, the North West and North East regions have the worst indices where the maternal mortality is twice the national average with over 1,500 deaths per 100,000 live births. Today millions of women still lack access to child spacing services, yet it is known that about 30% of these deaths can be averted by improving access to contraceptives and increasing uptake of child spacing services.

Fast-tracking progress to increase access to child spacing information and services is necessary to meet the national goal of reaching 36 % Contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) by 2018.

The proposed Family Planning conference is a key moment to reflect on lessons learned, challenges slowing down progress, and to re-orient strategies focusing on equity, addressing the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.

UNFPA is fully committed to partnership with all States and with development partners, to leverage on our comparative strengths for more results and sustainable, impactful State-owned child spacing programmes.

As the late Executive Director of UNFPA, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, said with a call to action: “Until every girl, every woman, everybody wherever they may be, can access reproductive health services, especially family planning, the work is not done”. UNFPA remains committed to ensuring that every child birth is by choice, not by chance.