By EZEKIEL DONTINNA

The Voice for Family Planning and Reproduction Health Centre [V4FPHC] has  in collaboration with Pathfinder International, trained some selected Information Officers drawn from nine local government Councils on to develop the necessary skills on how to assist in dissemination of Family Planning  related issues through their various media platforms.

The occasion which started on the 28th to 30th of November, 2019 took place at the HBC Resort along Vom Road, Jos, the Plateau State Capital, where over 19 stakeholders comprising the Information Officers and Health Directors on Primary Healthcare were engaged in a Two Day Workshop on how to increase budgetary provision and implementation of FP services as well as enlighten rural people on the importance of Family Planning  in the state.

While declaring the workshop open, the Chairman V4FPRHC, Prof. Josiah Mutihir, represented by the Plateau State FP Coordinator Rahila Telfim, commended Pathfinder International for their support in terms of advocacy stressing that, the workshop was to acquaint them with to forge a way forward towards tracking all budgetary allocations for FP in their respective Local Government Councils for effective implementation.

Speaking shortly after the workshop, the Communication Officer and Media Officer for Pathfinder International Abuja, Somto Atuanya, said, “ we are to engage better with the Journalists and the Information Officers at the Local Government and advance the course of Family Planning and for a couple of years now, we have been supporting Plateau State just as we support about twelve states in the country to advocate for budgetary allocations for how FP will strive and for an improved policy and regulatory environment to ensure that FP strive.

On her part, the State Reproductive Health Coordinator, Hannatu Francis Dung, described information as key in advocating the project, hence engaging these stakeholders in an interaction to further facilitate the implementation of Family Planning in our LGAs and also educate people on the importance of FP, because a lot of women die from preventable causes as a result of pregnancy and delivery.

Meanwhile, the Media Officer of V4FPRHC, Wika  Gofwen has commended the Information Officers for the swift understanding of the skills taught at the workshop, but stressed that there was still a gap saying, “ the Information Officers based on the background they are coming from, they are writing from that perspective, but of course they displayed  some level of understanding, but proved the fact that there were a lot of gaps that need to be covered in terms of contextualizing their based on what has happened or what is happening. So, the engagement is actually to see how we can improve on how to talk about Family Planning”.

There were presentations on Youth and Adolescent access to FP, by Kosi Izundu; Understanding FP related Policies by Hauwa Usman; Funding for FP-Plateau State FP budget Scorecard by Yusuf Nuhu,; The Information Officers and Family Planning by Wika Gofwen, while Somto Atuanya, took them on Investigative Journalism respectively.

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