The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has expressed concern over the health of Nigerian women, identifying ignorance, high cost of healthcare and inadequate facilities as major impediments to accessing quality care.
Tallen expressed concern at the launch of the Nigeria Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform on Monday in Abuja.
She said that personnel exposure to harmful traditional practices and the political will to implement pro-poor health policies in the country were also jeopardising women’s health.
The minister added that the major policy goal of the ministry was to advocate for improved access to health services and enhance reproductive healthcare for all, and in particular, the core poverty group which were mainly women, children, adolescent girls and others.
She recommended intensified efforts to mobilise additional resources from international and domestic sources for Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescents Health (RMNCAH) that must be kept high on the national political agenda.
She said “RMNCAH must remain central in the post-2015 development framework.
“The framework should include clear realistic targets to end preventable maternal, newborn and child mortality and to improve access to sexual and reproductive information services and ensure the realisation of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“Stakeholders should use existing global platforms, and consider new platforms such as the potential RMNCAH Global Financing Facility to better coordinate their RMNCAH investments to increase efficiencies in their allocations to countries.
“There is also the need to strengthen political leadership for family planning at country level to create support for contraception and sexual reproductive health and rights.
“Strengthening accountability for RMNCAH beyond 2030 through harmonised method is also vital.”
Tallen reiterated commitment to the multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform toward the realisation of quality health services for the well-being of Nigerian women and children.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, said there was need to propose a more robust strategy to engage traditional rulers in the monitoring process for better implementation.
Represented by the Emir of Keffi in Nasarawa State, Usman Chindo Yamasa III, the sultan commended the bold step taken by government and urged members of the committee to carry stakeholders along and ensure the implementation of UHC for all Nigerians.
Prof. Innocent Ujah, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) said “Nigeria has all it takes to work toward the achievement of UHC.”
Ujah said that research would drive the process that would deliver the UHC.
He commended the FMOH for its support toward enhancing the health rights and wellbeing of Nigerians.
He pledged NMA’s readiness to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders toward the delivery of quality healthcare to Nigerians.
The Commissioner for Health in Cross River, Dr Betta Edu, who spoke on behalf of the commissioners for Health Forum, said they were committed to the implementation of the RMNCAEH+N.
Edu, however, demanded that no state should be left behind as the forum requested that resources be provided for full implementation, while deliberate efforts be made to ensure all states implement the State Health Insurance Scheme that would fast track the achievement of UHC.
“This is a call to action,” he stressed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the platform was drawn from a wide cross-sector membership, including government, parliamentarians, media, regulatory bodies, philanthropists and donors, development organisations, academia and professional bodies.