Statement made by Opia Kumah, at 4TH Annual Family Planning Consultative Stakeholders MeetingAug 11, 2016
Delivered on behalf of interim Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Nigeria, Jean Gough
I am honoured to deliver this goodwill message on behalf of UN system in Nigeria, on the occasion of the 4th Annual Family Planning Stakeholders Consultative meeting on the theme “Promoting greater accountability through performance monitoring to ensure equitable access to family planning services in Nigeria’’. I am standing in for our Resident Coordinator ad interim, Ms Jean Gough, who cannot be here due to a last minute emergency.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
The UN system in Nigeria is indeed pleased to partner with the Federal Ministry of Health this year in particular. We consider this moment opportune, as this year that we have collectively commenced the implementation of the sustainable development goals (or global goals). We are delighted that this meeting aims to deepen stakeholder commitment to promote accountability, as Nigeria propels itself towards universal access to quality healthcare.
Indeed, Your Excellencies, Universal access to Family Planning is a human right. It is central to gender equality and women’s empowerment. It is a key factor in reducing poverty and achieving the sustainable development goals. Family Planning also has proven benefits to improve women’s health, child survival and HIV prevention. Furthermore, improved access to modern contraception for adolescents increases opportunities throughout their lives, including: longer time spent in school, fewer unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, a later and healthier start to childbearing, and a greater ability to engage in income-producing activity.
In the past year, the UN system, through UNFPA and other specialised agencies, has continued to provide funds and mobilized resources from partners for the procurement and distribution of contraceptives and other life-saving commodities.
These have gone to States and health facilities. Our agencies, in collaboration with the FMOH, have maintained the Central Contraceptive Warehouse (CCW), installed the CHANNELS Software for data management at CCW, trained service providers on its use, and conducted Global Programme on Reproductive Health Commodities Security (GPRHCS) survey.
Today, on this auspicious occasion, the UN system pledges its commitment to support the Government and people of Nigeria to realise the target of achieving a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 36% by 2018.
In conclusion, Your Excellencies, let me remark another auspicious coincidence: this year, the UN system, in consultation with our Government counterparts and development partners, has commenced the formulation of our next five-year country assistance programme. The new programme, I am certain, will place the strengthening of health systems at its very core; for Nigerians must be healthy in order to build a strong nation.
As we eagerly await the outcome of this consultative meeting, we are confident that it will build upon the already excellent relationship between the UN and the Government of Nigeria and open up even brighter vistas of cooperation in the year ahead.
I thank you all for your attention and wish you a fruitful meeting.