The Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bawa Wusa, said that child birth spacing and integrated health services is key to reducing maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.
He stated this when members of Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) and Child Birth Spacing Advocacy Team paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
He said the issue of maternal mortality is an issue that is dear to his heart, adding that loosing one’s mother during child birth was not an easy experience for the child and entire family.
“I lost my mother in the process of giving birth to the one after me which deprived me of the opportunity of knowing my mother. This experience, of course, can be very traumatic for a child,” Wusa said.
He said he is aware that God is behind every life and death, “but we must endeavour to do our part in ensuring reduction in the incidents of mothers dying as a result of bringing children into the world.”
The speaker stated that the visit of PPFN has enlightened him on some of the pressing issues in the health sector, saying that very soon committees would be put in place and urged citizens to ensure that they are held accountable.
He assured Nigerlites that under his leadership, issues of health and well-being of citizens would be given adequate priority.
Earlier, PPFN State Team Leader, Mr. Philip Ndatsu called on the speaker to ensure that there is budgetary allocation for Family Planning (FP), which he noted would go a long way in the reduction of maternal mortality rate in the state.
Mr Ndatsu said PPFN is a non- governmental organization whose main is to provide child birth spacing and integrated health care services and to champion the provision of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health rights.
“Other mandate includes, information and services particularly to vulnerable groups of women, children and youths aimed at complimenting government efforts.
Also speaking, Mrs Mary Bawa, the immediate past regional coordinator, PPFN said it is sad that women were still dying from child birth related complications and called on governments at all levels to ensure adequate funding of the health sector.
Mrs Bawa said with the gradual withdrawal of partners who are the main sponsors of FP issues across the country, government need to budget and ensure timely release of allocated funds which she noted can be possible if there is a urgent line for FP in the state.