Women’s Day: Experts tasks Nigerian families on rights to reproductive health
The Family Planning Unit of the Ministry of Health has advised Nigerians on need to prevent maternal and infant mortality through use of family planning which will safeguard their reproductive health.
Speaking during an interview with newsmen in Ilorin Hajia Bilkis Ibrahim, Family Planning Coordinator, Kwara State Ministry of Health explained that the unit is celebrating the International Women’s Day with activities including creation of awareness on rights to reproductive health of women.
According to her, the sexual and reproductive health and right of women and girls is related to several human rights.
Our correspondent, reports that Nigeria’s 40 million women of childbearing age (between 15 and 49 years of age) suffer a disproportionally high level of health issues surrounding birth.
While the country represents 2.4 per cent of the world’s population, it currently contributes 10 per cent of global deaths for pregnant mothers.
Ibrahim pointed out that the international women’s day is an opportunity and avenue for the Family planning unit to remind families especially women of the their enshrined rights to reproductive health.
She explained that these includes the right to health, life, privacy, education, freedom from torture, and the prohibition of discrimination.
Ibrahim submitted that the Reproductive rights embrace the rights of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice.
She noted that this also involve other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law, the right to appropriate healthcare.
The Family planning coordinator observed that the 2023 International Women’s Day themed: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, is apt as it seeks to create equal opportunities for all women across the globe.
She also believed that reproductive health is synonymous to improved socio-economic condition for the women across Nigeria.
The expert however lamented that religious and cultural inclinations of people continue to be a challenge to effective sensitization on family planning.
She added that the state currently has about 420 health facilities that have family planning units offering free services to people.
Speaking also, Alhaji Jubril Abdulkareem, the Kwara State Health Promotion Officer asserts that the state government has supported the unit on their various intervention programme such as door to door sensitization campaign on the need for families to plan their families.
He stated that spacing the number of children families have doesn’t mean they cannot have the number of children they want.
Abdulkareem added that community mobilisers are distributed across the 16 Local Government Area of the state to sensitize and engage with various stakeholders on the reproductive rights of women.
He appealed to women and their partners to adopt family planning method which is free and safe.
He reminded on the need to reach the SDG Target 3.7, which ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.