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Ensuring Family Planning Services in Private Health Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It is no news that the lack of access to family planning (FP) services during the pandemic could cause a rise in unintended pregnancies in the already populous city of Lagos State.However, private health facilities are working tirelessly to keep FP services functional through the joint effort of passionate health providers who are also at the frontlines of the COVID-19. These facilities and health providers have developed various coping strategies in preventing the spread of the pandemic whilst continuing to provide the essential FP services.

The adapted strategies include treating every case presented at the hospital as a ‘suspected’ COVID-19 case until proven otherwise, one-on-one engagement of patients rather than holding a general health talk with several clients in the waiting areas, and by scheduling patients on different appointment times to avoid overcrowding, whilst also adopting the standard safety procedures as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).Contrary to the initial fear that clients will halt antenatal care and prospective FP clients will be lost, providers give an account of how pregnant women have called-in to enquire about the continuation of ANC classes and uptake of FP methods by others during the pandemic.