FTP Snapshot: Nigeria

Evidence to Action (E2A) and Pathfinder International have been implementing a new program for young First-Time Parents (FTPs) as part of the Saving Mothers Giving Life-Expanding Family Planning (SMGL-EFP) Initiative in Cross River State (CRS), Nigeria. 

SMGL-EFP has been working in partnership with the CRS MOH since 2014 to increase the coverage and quality of maternal neonatal and reproductive health (RH) services and improve delivery outcomes in 148 public and faith-based health facilities across the state. An additional component of SMGL-EFP focuses on strengthening family planning (FP) services, including the provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).

With 18% of adolescent girls aged 15–19 having already begun childbearing in CRS and only 27% currently using a modern contraceptive method, the SMGL-EFP team noted a particular need to reach young mothers with reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) information and services. In response, E2A designed a new FTP-focused component that advances healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy (HTSP), FP, and gender-related outcomes for FTPs. Informed by a qualitative formative assessment conducted in 2017, this new FTP component centers on peer group activities with young first-time mothers (FTMs) to build their FP/RH agency and facilitate access to facility- and community-based FP services. The program also includes group activities with the male partners of FTM peer group members to foster healthy relationships and promote couple communication and joint decision-making. With the launch of FTP activities in May 2018, E2A conducted baseline surveys with FTMs and male partners participating in the program to understand more about their FP/RH situation and needs.