The UNFPA has commended the Kaduna State Government for the commitment toward ending unmet needs for family planning services, curbing preventable maternal death and ending Gender-Based violence (GBV).
The Head of Office, UNFPA Kaduna Sub-Office, Ms Loide Amkongo, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday.
Amkongo said that the commitment was in line with the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2022 to 2025, hinged on three transformative results.
She identified the transformative results as contributing to ending unmet needs for family planning services, contributing to preventable maternal death, and ending GBV.
“These transformative results are being achieved in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Gombe and Bauchi states, under the Kaduna Sub-Office.
“I have seen the commitment of the Kaduna State Government, along with other states, on the discussion table.
“Government officials are there, chairing various technical working groups and fully understanding the willingness to take actions for the needed results.
“From our engagements with the state governments and commissioners in the various states, UNFPA is optimistic of achieving the transformative results.”
On ending unmet needs for family planning, the head of office said many countries, including Nigeria, are facing difficulties.
She pointed out that women want to use family planning commodities but there were issues of access due to unavailability, shortage of commodities and other barriers.
She said UNFPA is working primarily with the Kaduna State Ministry of Health to ensure that adequate family planning choices are available for women to access.
This, according to her, will help to prevent unwanted pregnancy and provide the needed opportunity to plan their facilities.
“We are working closely with the state government to ensure that it strengthens its commitments to family planning.
“Kaduna State, like Gombe State, has already domesticated the Family Planning Guidelines and is ready to procure family planning commodities. That is being done.
“Our role is advocacy to ensure that more partners are working, and the state plays a critical role to fund the procurement of the commodities,” she said.
Amkongo added that UNFPA is also working with social society organisations and youth groups to ensure that people understood the need to demand for services being provided.
She regretted that religious and cultural practices were hampering the use of family planning.
“We are working with religious and community leaders to sensitise people on the importance of family planning, particularly to the economic development of women, their families, and the country at large.”
The head of office equally said that UNFPA, in partnership with the Kaduna State Government, was doing a lot of work that contribute to preventable maternal deaths.
“These include maternal death review and surveillance processes and capacity building of healthcare workers and doctors, among other interventions, and ensuring that certain procedures take place.
“We are working on advocacy, knowledge management and capacity building, both at individual and institutional levels.
“This is ensuring that people understand basic comprehensive emergency and obstetric essential services.
“The programme for fistula is tied to family planning and equally tied to preventable maternal death.
“For us, it is critical to prevent unplanned pregnancy and ensure that women access ante natal care and hospital delivery to prevent fistula, but when it does occur, we are providing repair services and psychosocial support.”
On GBV, Amkongo said UNFPA had been contributing toward ending the menace in Kaduna and other states, adding that the UN body had also been working with various partners, including groups of women advocating for their rights.
She added that the Fund had been working with a multisectoral group of ministries of justice, health, the police, and other security agencies.
“This is to ensure that as much as we attend to GBV survivors, the perpetrators are also brought to book, and we are implementing relevant laws that are there to prevent women from abuse,” she said.
She reaffirmed UNFPA’s technical support and commitment to the government, particularly in the three transformative results.
She identified financial and human resources as critical to achieving significant results, and expressed optimism that the state government would come through with its financial commitment.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria