THE LONG WAIT for the ground-breaking of the 4th Nigeria Family Planning Conference 2016 by Health Minister, Professor Isaac Folorunsho Adewole was not in vain after all as federal government on Monday pledged to increase funding of family planning commodities o $4m and include same into 2017 budget.
The Minister whose presence at the on-going 3-day conference of family planning in Abuja was regarded as highly essential by donor partners, reportedly requested a shift in the opening ceremony to late evening due to other urgent official engagements.
Healthstyleplus learnt that most of the experts and international development partners attending the conference in their large numbers had reached an agreement that it was crucial to have a high level presence of the federal government at the conference to enable a revisit to the government commitment to its save-a-million-lives initiative launched by the President Goodluck Jonathan Administration in 2012.
Speaking on the new commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, Adewole noted, “In spite of the downturn in our economy we (FG) will continue to meet all our obligations.
“One, we would re-evaluate the Memorandum of understanding signed with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that allows us to put some fund into the basket for family planning commodities in Nigeria.
“We have been operating under the $3m yearly but in 2017 we will increase this to $4m”, Adewole pledged.
The minister who during the occasion performed the regional launch of the new Lancet series on Maternal Health commended the editors saying, “The new Lancet has moved from counting deaths to counting Lives”.
He urged all players and stakeholders in the business of reproductive health to support the government of Nigeria in reaching the desired goal and target of scaling up the uptake of family planning among every Nigerian young women of reproductive age.
He pointed out that the uptake and use of commodities, delayed onset or abstinence from sexual engagements till much later in life, “are indeed different forms of family planning which can be sustained to grow the economy of the country as well as empower the teeming young population.
Adewole pleaded with Nigerian youths to embrace planning of families as a way to improve the poverty level in the country saying, “we are ready to tackle poverty by all means, but our young people must be ready to support our effort by deliberating planning the economy from family level”.