DURING his lifetime, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin was a true Amabssador of reproductive health and rights of women and young people all over the world and Nigeria in him had one man who gave his all to ensure women and young people have their voices for choice heard.
The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, (NRHJN),foremost group of Reproductive Health Reporters in the country described late Osotimehin as “a pillar of support”.
According to the group in statement issued in Lagos and signed by the President and Secretary respectively, Mr. Roland Ogbonnaya and Mrs. Yinka Shokunbi, “Until his death, Professor Osotimehin was a pillar of support to our body which he gave necessary encouragement to remain forthright in the reportage of issues around women and children with special attention on young people.
“We recall with nostalgia his unequivocal response to the reproductive health care and needs of the first 21 abducted Chibok Girls who were released in October 2015 during a meeting with our members in October 2015.
“It was Professor Osotimehin who first broke the news to the media through the Network that some of the girls were pregnant and pleaded that the rights and dignity of the young School girls should be respected especially with regards to their choices on what to do with the pregnancy” the NRHJN wrote..
The group of Reproductive Health Journalists also recall some of the works of Late executive director saying, ” Through his office as the Executive Director, UNFPA, customised dignity packs were procured and provided for the healthcare and needs of all the women and girls in all camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country”.
The Journalists also noted, “Osotimehin’s immeasurable contributions to promoting the rights and equity of young people all over the world have so far remained unrivalled at the global arena especially as a champion of advocacy in getting family planning commodities to the last mile and end users”.
The former Health Minister of the country also used his office as foremost director of UNFPA to encourage the federal government commit political will to providing for the health needs of Nigerian women.
According to teh Network, “On the local arena, Late Osotimehin was instrumental to the launch of the Save One Million Lives (SOMIL) Initiative by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in October 2012 and equally got the political commitment of the Federal Government to budget $11.5m for the purchase of essential 13 specific lives saving commodities for women and children in the country”, they averred.