Uncategorized - March 15, 2022

Day SFH launched IntegratE 2.0 Project in Kano

IntegratE 2.0, a four-year project co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Merck for Mothers (MSD), which seeks to advance the quality of Family Planning (FP) services provided by Community Pharmacists (CPs) and Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) across 11 Nigerian states, was launched, Thursday in Kano.

 

The signing of the family planning waiver between Society for Family Health (SFH) and Kano State Government 

 

By Stephen Enoch

The pilot phase of IntegratE Project was implemented by a consortium of partners led by the Society for Family Health (SFH) in Lagos and Kaduna between 2017 and 2021. The other partners being MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International), Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), the Population Council as well as PharmAccess.

Consequently, the coverage of the project’s phase 2 tagged IntegrateE 2.0 is being expanded to cover Kano, Nasarawa, Gombe, Enugu, Sokoto, Niger, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe states. Thus, IntegratE 2.0 seeks to intensify women’s and girls’ access to modern Family Planning (FP) methods and Primary Health Care (PHC) by improving the quality of services provided by CPs and PPMVs across its 11 focal states for the period 2024 – 2026.

CPs and PPMVs, which account for 72% and 4% of the provision of FP services in Nigeria, respectively, serve as the first point of care for most Nigerians. To that end, the project will engage a total of 5,530 providers across 11 Nigerian states; create an enabling environment for PPMVs and CPs to function; strengthen the quality of their service delivery; as well as implementing a research agenda whose evidence would inform policies and programmes.

Pharm Emeka Okafor, project director for IntegratE, said although 60% of Nigerians sought health care from CPs and PPMVs, the government has overtime been focused mainly on public health care providers – who account for only 40% of access to care. He said CPs and PPMVs were authorized by Nigerian laws to provide FP and PHC services hence would be trained and properly supervised to aid reduction of Nigeria’s disease burden.

“In Kano, we did a Geographic Information System (GIS) survey to understand the size of the PPMVs and CPs as well as the services they render and we found out there are 6,500 PPMVs and around 550 CPs operating in the state. Based on the mapping, we realized that the CPs are primarily located within the Kano metropolis while the PPMVs are largely based in the rural areas. We are ensuring that the capacity building will translate into improved quality of their services,’’ Okafor said.

The high-point of the project launch was the signing of the family planning waiver in Kano by the duo of the state’s Honourable Commissioner for Health and IntegrateE’s project director. The commissioner, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa, who spoke through his ministry’s director in charge of pharmaceutical services, Pharm Ghali Sule, said the waiver signalled the commencement of the IntegratE Project in Kano adding that the state government had already authorized the training of 950 private CPs and PPMVs across the state.

“The private health providers will be trained on how to administer FP services and also handle certain disease conditions like malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea among others, towards improved healthcare service delivery in the state. The waiver has been signed hence the project’s implementation will commence across the 44 LGAs of Kano,’’ said the commissioner.

Northwest regional programme manager for IntegratE, Dayyabu Yusuf, said the 950 private health providers that would be trained across Kano state would be inclusive of 300 non-health trained PPMVs, 600 health-trained PPMVs as well as 50 CPs, so as to ensure increased availability and access to an expanded range of quality FP and PHC information services by trained CPs and PPMVs, in line with national guidelines. ‘

As phase 2 of IntegratE kicks-off in Kano and across the 10 other implementing states, stakeholders anticipate a progressive increase in access to and uptake for FP and PHC services in the course of the project’s four-year lifespan. It is also expected to enhance the capacity of CPs and PPMVs to offer FP and PHC services in Nigeria as well as generating additional evidence for a gradual policy change at state and federal levels.

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