Marie Stopes Nigeria (MSION) is leading the way and breaking down barriers to task sharing in Nigeria, and the world.
This week the MSION research on the safety and efficacy of Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) providing comprehensive long-acting reversible contraceptive services (LARCs) was launched to great acclaim in Abuja.
Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, Director of the Family Health Department, spoke on behalf of the Health Minister, saying: "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."
The research findings validate the 2015 Task Sharing Policy, which is the most progressive policy for family planning in the region. The Government of Nigeria, with constant support from MSION, has gone a long way to operationalise this policy by approving the Clinical and Counselling Guidance. MSION has successfully lobbied the Community Health Practitioners Association to ensure that LARCs are included in pre-service training for all CHEWS. The task sharing of LARCs will increase contraceptive choice for women in Nigeria, particularly for the millions of women living in areas not served by higher cadres of provider.
The release of MSION's research is a watershed moment. Nationally, it makes the case for task sharing and realising the reproductive rights of women in Nigeria. Globally, it will contribute to the global evidence base, help to shape global norms and practice around task sharing, and influence future World Health Organisation guidance on the subject.