• Friday, May 24, 2024
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No woman must die during child birth — Tinubu

Of Tinubu, NADECO spirit and the scourge of insecurity

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday reaffirmed his administration’s commitments to empowerment of girls, women, and young people in Nigeria, saying that “no woman must die during childbirth“.

The President stated this at the unveiling of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities’ (UNFPA) State of the World Population 2024 Report, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He also promised to focus on strengthening the four D Principles such as Development, Democracy, Demography, and Diaspora, adding that “the government aims to integrate modern solutions into policies and programs that benefit this demographic.

He declared that his administration is also committed to ” keeping hope alive for girls, women, and young people by fulfilling its promises to accelerate actions in Nigeria, adding that his government will ensure that no woman dies giving birth, and that every girl has access to quality education and healthcare”.

The UNFPA’s flagship State of the World Population Report, which was presented in Abuja on Wednesday, has as its theme “Interwoven Lives, Threads of Hope: Ending inequalities in sexual and reproductive health and rights”, was first launched, in Geneva on April 17, 2024.

President Tinubu who was represented by Ali Pate, Minister of Health and Coordinating Minister for Social Welfare, said his administration is poised to address the challenges facing this vulnerable demographic.

The President also emphasized the importance of ensuring that girls stay in school and avoid early motherhood.

He assured that his administration is committed to providing access to quality healthcare and services, and implementing laws to end gender-based violence and harmful practices such as early/forced marriages and female genital mutilation.

The administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda prioritizes the empowerment of girls, women, and young people, recognizing their critical role in Nigeria’s development.

The Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative, launched in December 2023, is a testament to the administration’s commitment to the health and well-being of girls, women, and young people.

This initiative aims to improve access to quality healthcare services, including reproductive health and family planning, and address the unique challenges facing this demographic.

“Meeting the aspirations of the population affected by these inter-woven threads, who are mostly women, girls and young people, places a great demand and a sense of duty on us all to keep that hope alive. We must fulfil the promises to accelerate actions in Nigeria and ensure no woman dies giving birth.

“We must ensure that girls stay in school instead of becoming mothers at tender ages, provide access to quality health care and services everywhere, including accelerated access to family planning as fundamental for managing our population.

“Also, we must ensure the implementation of laws to end gender-based violence and harmful practices like early/forced marriages, female genital mutilation, that are against women and girls and indirectly against true and enduring development of our nation and people.

“The narrative in the paragraph that was just quoted above, are part of the concerns that formed the Renewed Hope Agenda, particularly anchored on strengthening the four D Principles: Development, Democracy, Demography and Diaspora, aimed at integrating modern solutions into our policies.

“With a dynamic population of 220 million that is youthful, growing fast and projected to 450 million by 2050, making us among the fourth or fifth largest, most populous countries in the world by then, and with our rich cultural diversity, we are poised to harness our demographic potential for development of our country.

“I want to assure you, that we are taking bold steps and committed to addressing issues that affect our youth reproductive health, and in December 2023 I launched the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, which is anchored in a sector-wide approach and the Basic Healthcare Provision Pact”.

Also speaking at the event, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State expressed outrage over the continued high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria, calling it “unacceptable” and “a shame” that women still die in childbirth in 2024.

Represented at the event by his deputy, Emmanuel Akabe, Sule emphasized the need for collective action to address maternal health, infant mortality, stunting, and malnutrition, urging unity and cooperation among healthcare stakeholders to “save lives” and improve Nigeria’s healthcare system.

The Governor recommended that the report on these issues be presented to the Council of Health and Governors Forum to ensure widespread ownership and implementation of solutions.

Speaking at the launch, Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director, stated that “the fabric of humanity is strong because our fates are woven together” and urged global solidarity to address the pushback against women’s and girls’ rights.

She praised Nigeria’s progress in reducing maternal mortality and combatting gender-based violence but noted that more needs to be done to address the country’s high maternal death rate and unmet need for contraception.

The report highlights successes in reducing unintended pregnancies and HIV infections but notes that progress has slowed, and inequalities persist.

It calls for prioritizing those furthest behind, collecting better data, and empowering local actors to address local needs.

Kanem emphasized that investing in sexual and reproductive health benefits all of us, contributing to economic gains, education, productivity, and human happiness.

The report’s launch was attended by Nigerian government officials, healthcare professionals, and development partners, who pledged to work together to address the country’s sexual and reproductive health challenges.