ABUJA- Dr Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), has pledged the agency’s support to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of ending infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria by 2030.
Kanem made this known while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
She renewed the commitment of UNFPA to assist Nigeria to expand the range of Primary Healthcare Centre posts that would have Family Planning (FP) services available and affordable to every woman who so desires.
“We want work hand in hand with government to make sure that we equip the health post and hospitals appropriately for the life-saving mission.
“This will enable us celebrate when we have the happy occasion of a child being born,’’ she said.
She however noted that as a practical matter to end death in child birth by 2030, girls as young as 10 and 11 needs information to make informed choice.
She said young girls in Nigeria deserve to have information that would protect them from getting pregnant too young and getting married before they are matured.
She added that the young girls also need to understand that the society expects a lot from them.
Kanem said: “As UNFPA we would support the Federal Ministry of Health which has leadership that is attending to how we put the pieces together to end death at child birth.’’
She added that the agency would share experience with the government and key stakeholders to enable Nigerians understand the burden of the maternal death and add many components to it.
According to her, UNFPA, working with other UN system under the aegis of the UN development framework for health, education and gender equality, would ensure that that no women die while giving birth.
“UNFPA is committed to providing reproductive health information that can assist in avoiding the sexually transmitted disease like HIV/AIDS in a language which people can understand; within the framework of the Nigerian government.
“This protective life saving information can protect the woman’s life; it would also enable her to know the importance of delivering her baby at the hand of skill birth attendant.
“It is also very important for couples to plan their family. So information about how, when and with whom a woman chooses to have a baby is very important,’’ she said.
Kanem said UNFPA works around the world to ensure that “every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe and also we want to ensure that the potentials of young people are fulfilled’’.
The executive director commended the minister of health for successful hosting of FP2020 reference group meeting.
According to her, FP2020 is cultured by UNFPA.
She added that through the FP2020 initiatives UNFPA was endeavouring to ensure that modern FP methods were available in rural and urban areas.