Nigeria will meet all obligations on family planning-Health Minister

Gloria Essien, Abuja

The Nigerian Minister Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that Federal Ministry of Health will continue to meet all its financial obligations towards the provision of family planning commodities in the country despite the economic challenges.

The Minister made this known while declaring open the 4thNigeria Family Planning Conference 2016 in Abuja, organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Association of the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP) and Development Partners.

Prof. Adewole said “our commitment here is that in spite of the downturn in the economy we would continue to meet all our obligations, we will revalidate our MOU with UNFPA, that obliged us to put some funds in the basket that funds family planning commodities in Nigeria, we are committed under the existing MOU to put three Million Dollar per year and for 2017 we will increase it to 4 million US Dollar.”

 He said that the benefit of family planning was not only to prevent unwanted pregnancy, abortion related mortality but also to avert mortality rates from whatever causes, it eliminates anemia and it improves maternal health.

The Minister who said that family planning was beyond contraceptives described it as a low hanging fruit that could be applied to reduce maternal mortality in the country.

He reiterated that the Federal Ministry of Health would jointly work with all stakeholders on reproductive health to ensure that the misconception about family planning is cleared.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, who was also the Chairman Local organising Committee, Dr. Ejike Oji said that the family planning conference was a biennial conferences that focuses on bringing all family planning stakeholders to discuss and share experiences on the progress made and chart a way forward towards improving the existing situation of family planning.

“We gather together to deliberate and engage with our religious and traditional rulers in a bid to learn from each other.”

He said this year’s conference has special attention on Internally Displace Persons around the country that have a significant need for sexual, reproductive health and rights information services especially with emerging reports of sufferance of sexual violence.

Dr. Oji urged the participants to explore opportunities and partnership that would translate into meeting the needs of the Internally Displaced Persons in the country.