The Hon Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adewole has declared open a 3day Family Planning Consultative Stakeholders meeting in Abuja. The forum was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health and Partners to appraise the implementation of scale-up plan for delivery and uptake of quality and affordable family planning (FP) in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the Minister, appealed to participants to be unanimous in seeking ways of putting resources together, investing in the young people with extension to women and children and ultimately encouraging Family Planning.
Professor Adewole noted that the high population growth in Nigeria which had persisted over the past 50years was largely driven by very high fertility rate. This scenario he explained overburdened the country with more children (consumers) than Adults (producers).
The Minister then emphasised the need for Nigeria to produce more producers by re-positioning the health system by: adopting an aggressive FP strategy, improve service providers’ capacity and increase number of health facilities amongst others.
In his speech, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja III, called on the stakeholders to take the issue of Family planning seriously because in his word “A population if well-planned is an asset but it becomes a liability if not well-planned”.
He further urged the three tiers of government to sensitize girls between the ages of 15-25, drivers, other artisans and market women about the dangers of unplanned family because everyone had a role to play.
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sultan Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar III, represented by the Emir of Shonga, Alhaji Haliru Yahaya, cited poor communication strategy as a hindrance to favourable attitude towards Family planning. He however demonstrated his commitment towards FP by presenting a book titled “Islamic Perspective on FP and Reproductive Health in Nigeria”. A book endorsed by all Islamic Sects in Nigeria, the Sultan hinted.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, said that Nigeria’s most important resources were the youths’ population, as such, it was important to invest in the youths to improve their productivity and boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Hajia Zainab said that Budget and Planning Ministry was committed to support FMOH and mobilize domestic resources towards improving the funding of the health sector.
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Olasupo Ayokunle, stressed on adequate implementation of every policy on Family Planning adding that stakeholders should ensure that Family Planning messages were taken to the grassroots.
Highlights of the event were the official launch of a new Family Planning Logo the ‘GREEN LOGO’, a National Family Communication plan, other Family Planning program documents and the official signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Federal Ministry of Health and United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA).
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