The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) says it contributed 34 billion dollars to boost maternal healthcare services in Nigeria in 2016.
Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of the fund disclosed this in an interactive session with newsmen on Friday in Abuja. Osotimehin said Nigeria required huge amount of money annually to adequately meet maternal healthcare needs of women and girls.
He said UNFPA contributed seven million dollars in 2015 and a sum of 34billion dollars from January to August 2016 for commodity on family planning alone. Osotimehin, however decried the number of women and girls that died on daily basis as a result of complications from unwanted pregnancy.
He underscored the need for government to avail women and girls with necessary information and services for a drastic reduction in the death rate. Osotimehin said he was in the country with Mr Mark Lowcock, the Permanent Secretary, UK Department of International Development (DFID), to assess the level of supports they had given to the country on maternal and adolescent health.
He reiterated their commitment to ensuring that every society was able to control its population growth thereby improving the lives of its citizens. Osotimehin said such control could be achieved through adequate family planning services and skilled healthcare providers.
The envoy urged governments, especially at the state level, to scale up interventions and allocate enough resources to enable easy access to the services. Osotimehin said the situation where Nigeria accounted for 10 per cent maternal mortality globally, “is unacceptable’’
He, therefore, charge government at all level, religious leaders, traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders to give priority attention to programmes that would boost family planning services across board.