Experts Advocates Better Healthcare Funding, Free Maternal Health Services, Family Planning
Stakeholders in the health sector have called on incoming political leaders to endeavour to make maternal healthcare services and family planning free for the benefit of the common man through provision of better funding for the sector.
Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, President of Association of Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), while speaking at a one-day summit organised by the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), theme: “Raising voices for more funding for family planning and free maternal health services by incoming political leaders,” said health must be treated as a basic human right
Prof. Ladipo, stated that Nigeria government had not priorities the health sector and issues surrounding it, noting that it is high time to change the narrative and make health one of the major prioriies of the government just like security.
According to him, health is he true engine of a stable economy, especially as non women lives shouldn’t be lost in he process of giving birth to life.
” Our women are not disposables. Maternal death in Nigeria is very shameful. It is important for every pregnant Nigerian woman to be delivered by skilled birth attendant. Unskilled birth attendant is unacceptable.
“Health is a basic human right, when health is absent wisdom cannot manifest itself, making health a priority as number one or two on government agenda will go a long way to reduce the challenges in the sector.
“Provision of a enough fund for the sector is paramount here, women are about 50 per cent of the country’s population, no woman should die in the process of giving birth to a other life. We do not lack the qualities to make things work,” said Prof. Ladipo
He urged journalists to champion the course agenda setting for the incoming administration to take the health sector paramount and improve on issues with qualities of life and political stability.
Dr Ejike Orji, Chairman, Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP) in his paper presentation “Dangers of not funding family planning in Nigeria,” stressed the need for policy thrust in reversing the current horrible trend, stating that family planning issues should be a concern for every patriotic Nigerians.
According to Orji, poor funding could lead to maternal death, and that Nigeria accounts for the highest rate of mortality in the world.
He called on government to recruit more midwives who should be sent to rural health facilities in order to save lives while also mobilizing women to champion the course of family planning programme.
Orji called for good remuneration for midwives as a way of strengthening their commitments to work, adding that family planning 2030 commitment of one per cent of the health budget must be made priority at all government level.
In his remarks, Hassan Zaggi, President, Association of Nigeria Health Journalists said, ” We are concerned that our mothers still die when trying to bring out life, pregnant women have challenges when trying to access healthcare services, hence, we brought together health experts to raise our voice to alert the incoming government on the magnitude of the situation.
“Some of these leaders who are seeking election may not be conversant with these troubling indices around maternal and child health. It is our responsibility as the media to bring the issues to the fore so that they will understand and prepare their minds to tackle them when eventually assume office.”
He call on the incoming leaders to consider improving access to family planning commodities and making maternal health services free.
In a similar vain,Dr. Stanley Ukpai, Director of Programmes at the Partnership for Advocacy In Child and Family Health at Scale
(PACFaH@scale), and Development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC) explain that if Nigeria’s population is not well managed it would experience a population boom to the tune of 400 million people by 2050.
He therefore call on the incoming administration to thinker ways of managing the population so that the people produce in Nigerian can be able to contribute to the country’s productivity .
Earlier in his keynote address, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by Pharm. Ugochukwu Alex, Deputy Director of Family Planning Logistics, noted that the summit represents a necessary step towards getting the about-to-be-elected political actors to be properly primed to keeping faith with the country’s commitment to sustained increase in use of contraceptives by Nigerians of reproductive age across the country.
He also said Nigerians with responsibility for the governance of this great nation need to be supported with appropriate information that will help them make critical decisions regarding implementation of identified interventions to scale up delivery and uptake of family planning services and commodities.
The one-day Summit was supported by the Partnership for Advocacy In Child and Family Health at Scale (PACFaH@scale), and anchored by the Development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC).
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