Stakeholders in the health sector have appealed to incoming political leaders to prioritise maternal health and family planning services for the benefit of the common man.
The stakeholders made the appeal at a one-day meeting organised by the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) on Thursday in Abuja.
The theme of summit is “Raising Voices for More Funding for Family Planning and Free Maternal Health Services by Incoming Political Leaders”.
Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, President of Association of Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), urged journalists to champion the cause of changing the narrative through their reportage to make government to prioritise the health sector.
He said that, “health is a basic human right, when health is absent, wisdom cannot manifest itself, making health a priority will go a long way to reduce challenges.
“Provision of enough fund for the health sector is paramount; women are about 50 per cent of the country’s population; no woman should die in the process of giving birth.”
Dr Ejike Orji, the Chairman, Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), who spoke on “Dangers of Not Funding Family Planning in Nigeria”, called for increased funding of the health sector.
He said there should be a policy thrust to reverse the trend, adding that family planning issues should be a concern for every patriotic Nigerian.
According to him, poor funding can lead to maternal death. He urged government to employ more midwives and send them to rural health facilities, and also mobilise women to embrace family planning.
Orji called for good remuneration for midwives to get their commitment to work, adding that the Family Planning 2030 commitment to set aside one per cent of health budget must be made priority at all government levels.
Mrs Moji Makanjuola, the Executive Director, International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), urged journalists to form alliance with health actors to keep pushing for change in the sector
Makanjuola, who was represented by Mrs Folu Duke, the Director of Administration, ISMPH, said journalists are the gatekeepers and the conscience of the people who continue to push for change. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)