By Adamu Yauri
Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole has encouraged Nigerians to engage in family planning stressing that neither Christianity nor Islam disallowed it.
Adewole disclosed this while making a presentation at the 4th National Family Planning Conference in Abuja.
Adewole also unveiled documents on the Christian and Muslims perspectives on family planning and therefore encouraged the government to invest more.
He also unveiled “the Lancet” a maternal health journal.
The Minister further disclosed that the Federal Government would revalidate its agreement with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to boost the contraceptive prevalence in Nigeria.
He said that the government plans to increase its investment from $3 million to $4 million by 2017.
He said the gesture was to increase demand for the services in Nigeria adding that the task before the government was to push for the contraceptive prevalence to 50 per cent.
He tasked stakeholders to always emphasize the benefit of planning, which is far beyond child spacing stressing that it cures anaemia and eliminate poverty among others.
Speaking earlier, Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman Local Organizing Committee of the conference said has a theme `Family Planning in Nigeria: The journey so far’.
He said it focused on bringing all family planning stakeholders to discuss and share experiences on the progress made and chart the way forward towards improving the existing situation of family planning.
He said the conference aimed at sustaining a platform for dialogue and understanding across key stakeholders and strategic partners.
According to Orji, the conference advocates for increase access for family planning for Internally Displaced Persons and strengthen respective and compassionate care in family planning services.
Similarly, Mairo Mandara, Country Director, Bill and Melinder Gates Foundation said the Foundation believed that every life has equal value.
Mandara said the foundation supported people in health, agriculture, financial services water and sanitation among others.
She added that the foundation believed that family planning was not just about child spacing and delay in child birth, it also supported women to realize their potentials.
She also tasked stakeholders to allow the youth not only to partner but take the lead in the advocacy campaigns on family planning.
“There are young people at the age of 13 to 15 years who are mothers now, this truncated their lives, as stakeholders we have obligations to them’’.