Edo State Government in partnership with Sustainable Health Family and Maternal Support Initiative (SHFMSI) organised a three days Training/Enlightenment Programme for young persons of Reproductive Age and Family Planning with the Theme: Bridging the gap between Knowledge and practice of family planning; lessons from Governor Godwin Obaseki lead administration example. The event was held at Youth House, Benin City.
Sustain Health Family and Maternal Support Initiative (SHFMSI) is an offspring of Advocacy Core Group (ACG) Benin, Nigeria, Urban Reproductive Health Program (Advocacy Compound) galvanizing critical stakeholders for the success and sustenance of the project.
Comrade Aliu Akokhia, Executive Director of Sustainable Health Family and Maternal Support Initiative (SHFMSI), said “every year we face challenges towards achieving the goals set out by global commitment to ensuring Universal Sexual and Reproduction Health and Right to empower girls and women and to achieve gender equality. Our dear state is committed to achieving the goal of a contraceptive prevalence rate. Records show that over 200 million women in the world want to prevent pregnancy but lack access to effective, affordable, modern means of contraception. They result in 80 million unplanned pregnancy, 30 million unplanned birth and 20 million unsafe abortion every year.”
He further stated that family planning plays a key role in reducing Maternal Mortality.
In a paper presentation, Executive Director, NextGen represented by Barrister Omojeagbe said the success of family planning program can only be achieved if the necessary supplies are accessible, available and affordable to meet the growing demand. The issues of non-availability of contraceptive has been attributed to funding. There is no gainsaying that the availability of contraceptive relies on funding from donor and sufficient investment from government. The impact of contraceptive funding crisis is far-reaching, most often, health facilities especially in the rural areas are stock-out, corrupted supply chain and or inability to guarantee contraceptive to these facilities by relevant stakeholders.
Edo State Commissioner for Health, Professor Obehi Akhoria, represented by Mrs. Adja Abieyuwa, stated that the Godwin Obaseki Government through the State Ministry of Health envision a state that is a regional reference point for quality healthcare delivery and the desired destination for innovation, education and research in healthcare. This is because the state Governor values the life of every Edo Citizen. In his words “Edo lives are very precious”.
To achieve the vision and to protect the lives of Edo citizens there are established systems and structure one of which is the Adolescent and Youth Health and Development Desk domiciled in the Reproductive Health Unit of the Department of Public Health, Edo State Ministry of Health. Its mission is to empower young people (10-24years) have optimal health and development. The state has gone ahead to ensure that young people have access to Reproductive Health services especially contraceptive free of charge in health facilities.
Comrade Adesuwa Ehimuan, Chairperson, NAWOJ Edo State, admonished women and girls to embrace contraceptive in order to prevent maternal mortality and unwanted pregnancy.
“Family planning provides many benefit to mother, children, father and the society at large. Family planning gives enough time and opportunity to love and focus attention on the family. It gives the woman time for her family and her own personal advancement.”
Some participants at the event, Edwin Ogieriakhi and Omon Ailenawa thanked the organisers for educating them on the importance of contraceptive.
Comrade Bartholomew Okoudo, during the vote of thanks said, “ineffective family planning has destroyed some homes and family. Children are from God but we as parent and care-give should endeavor to do family planning so we have the number of children we can cater for.”