BY SOLA OGUNDIPE

HOPE has been rekindled for Nigerian women to have better access to adequate health care services and subsequently get improved quality of life. This development was heralded by last week’s flag-off of the distribution of free female and male condoms, as well as injectable contraceptives and consumables and other contraceptive commodities expected to help reduce maternal and child death by 30 percent across the Federation.

The commodities were received by Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Primary Healthcare Development Board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed for equitable distribution to residents of the FCT and followed up with distribution freely to all health facilities including primary health care facilities at all the Local Government Areas across the Federation.

Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu who flagged off the event, noted that the family planning programme has been acclaimed globally as one of the key strategies for promoting maternal, newborn and child health and for national development. Chukwu urged the media to propagate the message of the importance of family planning to control population in the country, while charging families to understand the use of family planning methods for child spacing.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr.Linus Awute noted that the flag off reiterated Federal government’s commitment to maternal and child issues as an important strategy for reduction of maternal mortality in the country. He said the initiative was made possible through the help and support of UNFPA to accelerate the realisation of the MDGs especially Goals 4,5 and 6.

Team Leader, Health/Population, USAID, Sharon Epstein observed that the commodities would avail poor families of the opportunity to space their children which would invariably result in the decline in maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.

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