Sustain progress with sexual reproductive health of women- Pathfinder International
In order not to lose the gains made with reproductive health of women and girls, the Country Director, Pathfinder International, Dr. Amina Dorayi has urged all family planning stakeholder to take action
Speaking during a webinar to mark World Population Day, with the theme: "How to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now," Dorayi said the theme focuses on how to protect sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls amid the pandemic.
She pointed that, " the theme is a reflection of how much we could lose in terms of the gains made over the years in reproductive health and if we do not take action to safeguard stronger progress towards women and girls sexual and reproduction health needs.
"We are here to ensure that the pandemic does not push us back years behind after the modest strides we have achieved in improving access to sexual and reproductive health services both in nigeria and across the world."
According to the Pathfinder Country Director, reproductive health services are essential to the overall wellbeing of the development of women and also the family.
Dorayi added that, "the current COVID-19 has brought a number of challenges to the fore and in our country, most of these are directly or indirectly related to population and underdevelopment. One of this is, the issue of street children that roam about in northern Nigeria known as almajiri."
She said the World Population Day is set aside to raise awareness of global population and set the pace for a bright future for us all, adding that, it also provides the opportunity to mobilize political will and resources to address population issues.
On Pathfinder International's contribution, she said the organization is providing technical abilities to strengthen the supply and demand for sexual and reproductive health services and has continue to work with local institutions including advocacy working groups of family planning as well as the media to ensure we maintain these services.
Also speaking during his presentation, Director of Public health, Nasarawa state Ministry of Health and incident Manager for Covid -19 in Nasarawa state, Dr. Ibrahim Adamu Alhassan, said if all women wishing to avoid pregnancy could use modern methods of contraception, around 25 percent of maternal deaths could be averted as Nigeria's Maternal Mortality Rate is put at 545 per 100,000 live births.
He stated that at the national level RH/FP statistics, overall is 19 percent of women age 15 to 19 had begun childbearing in Nigeria which in Nasarawa state, overall is 10 percent with same age. While the number of births per woman is at 5.3 and Nasarawa is put at 5.7
On the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on provision of family planning services in Nigeria faced some challenges such as commodity production, logistics, change in focus of health care workers and limited availability of Personal Protective Equipments amongst others.
He called on the government to make reproductive health and family planning essential service during Covid-19 a d a review of the National budget ( including health budget).
In her contribution, Mrs. Chioma Umeha, Chairperson,Society For Media Advocacy on Health formerly know as Family Planning Media Advocacy Working Group, MAWG Lagos said the Groups role is to bring about positive change by influencing family planning related policies and budgetary decisions using various media platforms.
She said to allay concerns about side effects of contraceptive methods, increase self- efficiency or confidence to take action, and change perceived norms that discourage family planning use, media advocates can tackle this through human interest, investigative, in-depth features stories amongst others.