The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has restated Federal Government’s commitment to fertility reduction through intensive monitoring and implementation of Family Planning (FP) services.
He made the government’s position known at an event by the National Population Commission (NPC) to commemorate the 2022 World Population Day (WPD) in Abuja on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WPD is annually celebrated on July 11 to raise awareness on various population issues such as the importance of FP, gender equality, maternal health and human rights.
The global celebration has “A World of 8 Billion: Towards A Resilient Future for All — Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All” as theme for 2022.
Represented at the event by Dr Salma Anas-Kolo, the Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Ehanire said it would be difficult for Nigeria to achieve human capital development without fertility reduction.
He, therefore, reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to reduction of fertility, saying the focus was on sustainable domestic financing.
He added that “we have intensified action on how to sustain financing of family planning, especially family planning commodities, as they are integral part of reproductive health rights.”
The minister affirmed the determination of the ministry to mobilise the private sector in the advancement of access to family planning commodities.
The NPC Chairman, Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, who called for a shift from quantity to quality population and from liability to assets, expressed the commission’s commitment to work in tandem with the Revised National Population Policy.
He described the policy as people-centred and would continue to promote the rights of individuals and couples to freely and responsibly decide when and how to space their children.
Ms Erika Goldson, the Deputy Country Representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), emphasised the need for bodily autonomy and protection of women and children.
Goldson identified rights and choices as critical components in transitioning the global population to assets where no baby would be unwanted.
Dr Amina Dorayi, the Country Director, Pathfinder International, said the protection of women and girls is paramount in achieving human capital development.
Dorayi explained that such could best be achieved through access to family planning and empowerment of women.
She called on stakeholders to collectively ensure that women and girls enjoyed optimal Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights (RSHR).
Dr Ejike Oji, the Chairman, Technical Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to population management.
Oji said that the president had demonstrated political will to achieve Demographic Dividend through the launch of the National Population Policy and funding for family planning.
He called on all to continue to support the call for fertility reduction, aimed at not only achieving Demographic Dividend but averting
population disaster. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu