Go beyond hospitals with child-spacing services, Gombe Commissioner charges health workers

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Gombe State Commissioner of Health, Dr Habu Dahiru

By Akanji Alowolodu, Gombe

Gombe State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Habu Dahiru, has said that child spacing services could be integrated with other services such as house to house immunization to ensure that all women of child bearing age who have interest in assessing the service are met.
The Commissioner also charged child spacing service providers not to limit their services to the hospitals alone in order to meet the set objectives of the service.
Habu Dahiru made the call during a contraceptive technology update meeting held for policy makers and technocrats, supported by The Challenge Initiative (TCI),  at the Gombe International Hotel on Monday.
He noted that child spacing service providers in the State must be proactive and committed to service delivery so that women who want to access the serves are offered the required treatment.
According to him, experience had shown that some women prefer to be attended to in their homes rather than the hospitals, as such, they should follow these women to their homes with the services.
While advising master trainers to train and mentor more service providers, he also advised that child spacing units should set out targets so that services would indicate if the required number of beneficiaries are reached.

He further noted that task shifting and sharing policy will allow every skilled health worker to offer better services stressing that, “Child spacing improves socioeconomic well being and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country. We can adapt the Thailand approach here in Nigeria”. 
Gombe State TCI coordinator, Yakubu Usman, while giving an overview of Demographic Dividends of child spacing said that  the dividends occur where there is growth in the economy, that is, population transit from mortality and fertility rates to longer life expectancy and smaller families.
He said that child spacing is not a disease by itself, however, if not protected, it could cause infertility or even death, hence its importance can not be over emphasized.
“child spacing is not stopping families from having children, but it requires that they have children that they can cater for and to allow the women rest before their next conception”, Yakubu Usman stressed.
Gombe State coordinator of Child Spacing Services, Mrs. Sa’adatu Sambo, explained that there are 469 health facilities offering child spacing services and with support of partners and State Government trained staff for service delivery.
She said that various partners have also supported in supply of commodities and consumables, renovated child spacing units, formation of various technical working groups for enhanced child spacing uptake.
She enumerated challenges to include low budgetary allocation and release, inadequate commodities and called for extension of services to all health facilities across the State.

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