The Taraba Governemnt has earmarked N30 million for Family Planning (FP) services in its 2019 budget, Dr Ahmed Kara, the Director, Hospital Services in the state Ministry of Health, has said.

Kara disclosed this on Tuesday in Jalingo at the opening of a two-day “Budget Tracking, Monitor and Process Training and Advocacy Core Group Work Plan Development meeting”

Kara is also the Chairman of the Advocacy Core Group (ACG) of FP in the state.

According to him, this is part of measures to ensure that couples have children by choice and not by chance.

This dedicated budget line which family planning advocates in the state have been yearning for, is coming for the first time several years after the state was created out of the defunct state of Gongola in 1991.

“The state will improve on this feat in its subsequent budgets in order to have a healthier and more development focused population,’’ the director said.

Kara explained that though the amount was inadequate in carrying out FP activities in the state, it was a good start as it would encourage development partners to do more in the sector.

He commended the budget tracking meeting which was organised by the State Primary Health Care Development Agency in conjunction with The Challenge Initiative (TCI), an NGO, working on FP in the state.

According to him, it will go a long way in ensuring proper implementation.

He charged the group on the need to advocate for timely release of the budgeted fund.

Kara said the dream of reaching out to all nooks and crannies of the state with FP messages would be actualised when all hands are put deck.

Dr Othman Sarki, the state Programme Coordinator of TCI, observed in his presentation on “Basic Calculation in Budgeting’’, that budget planning and monitoring is very vital for the realisation of the outlined plans for FP in the state and the nation at large.

He appealed to media practitioners to support the campaign and work round the clock to make communities assimilate the messages of FP.

The meeting was attended by experts from the state Ministry of Health, FP Local Government Focal Persons and the media.

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