The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire says the Federal Government remains committed to ensuring free access to Family Planning Services by Nigerians across all public health facilities in the country, as this will ensure that Nigerians build families according to their capacity to cater for their needs.
Dr. Ehanire stated this in Abuja at the close out session and dissemination of the Enhancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Program for Women of Reproductive Age in Northern Nigeria which implemented by the Clinton Health Access Initiative, CHAI, with funding from Global Affairs Canada.
While delivering a keynote address, the Minister also urged the governments on Kaduna, Kano and Katsina states to develop strategies targeted at sustaining the gains in enhancing sexual and reproductive health and rights for women of reproductive age, in the three states.
“The Federal Ministry of Health on its side will continue to be committed to making family planning free for all Nigerians across all public health facilities across the country, so that every family can have the number of children that they want and that they can take care of.
“We have launched the Nigeria 2030 commitment just recently, and other reproductive health policies including the adolescent and gender in health policy to mainstream the gender lens into public health programme.”
In his remarks, Country Director, CHAI, Dr. Owens Wiwa said the program which started four years ago was a comprehensive approach to address barriers, especially gender related, that prevented women and girls from being able to fully express their sexual and reproductive rights.
Dr. Wiwa who was represented by Deputy Director, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Adekemi Gbolade also explained that the ministries of health, education, and women affairs in the implementing states were engaged towards ensuring a truly gender sensitive program.
“We look forward to ongoing efforts by the states and FMoH to sustain the gains of this programme and scale best practices across the state and to all states.
“We hope that the successful launch of gender in health policy and the adolescent and young persons’ health and development policy, both of which this programme supported the FMoH develop and finalise will translate to the improved programme design and implementation with gender mainstreaming for improved outcomes which we designed.”
On her part, the Acting Head of Corporation, Global Affairs Canada, Ranata Piston expressed delight that results from the program were not exclusive to health, but also included empowering students to speak up against abuses.