Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, over the weekend raised a fresh alarm over Nigeria’s rate of population growth.
According to him, if the rate was unchecked, the explosion in the nation’s population would impact negatively on the country’s economy and welfare.
To this end, Adewole called for the use of Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) to address the problems of shortage and misdistribution of manpower needed for the provision of access to family planning services in rural communities and other hard to reach areas.
He made the call in Abuja while speaking on the topic: “The Relevance of Operations Research in Family Planning Programming in Nigeria” during the formal presentation of the report of a study by a non-governmental organisation, Marie Stopes Nigeria.”
The study assessed the provision of implant contraceptives by Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS)
The Minister, represented by the Director, Family Health Department in the ministry, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, said: “We all know that we cannot continue with the rate at which our population is increasing. It is expedient for us to task-shift the delivery of family planning services in Nigeria to CHEWS.
“CHEWS are to be regarded as an important cadre of contraceptive implant providers readily available for the expansion of access to family planning services in Nigeria.”
While expressing his delight with the result of the study by Marie Stopes Nigeria, which provides evidence needed to demonstrate that CHEWS can safely provide implants to their clients, Adewole urged stakeholders to join hands with the Federal Ministry of Health to expand access to contraceptive implants and to ensure that the country makes quantum leaps in the use of evidence-based interventions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).