By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government says full implementation of National Policy on Sexual Reproductive Health would significantly enhance lives of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the country, especially Women and Girls with Disabilities (WWD).
Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health said this at the Launch and Dissemination of Reproductive and Maternal Policy Documents on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the policy is with emphasis on Women and Girls with Disabilities (WWD) based on the World Reports on Disability, 2011.
“Approximately 25 million Nigerians live with one form of disability or the other with an estimated 13 million of this population being women and girls.
“PWDs have the same sexual and reproductive health needs as other people and they need the minimum package of reproductive health services available to everyone else,” he said.
The minister reiterated the commitment of government to provide comprehensive and integrated sexual and reproductive health service for all Nigerians.
On her part, Ms Irene Patrick, Executive Director of Disability Right Advocacy Centre (DRAC) said women and girls with disabilities who are of reproductive age are vulnerable to sexual harassment and other social vices.
She said the policy would provide, improve and protect the access of PWDS to quality reproductive health services in Nigeria.
“This policy will effectively address the dynamics of sexual and reproductive health for WWD and importantly bring a holistic understanding of the inclusions of PWDS,’’ she said.
Patrick commended the Federal Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other major stakeholders who formulated and developed the policy which she said began in 2015.
Also, Dr Farouk Jega, Country Director of Pathfinder International, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), also commended the minister for his efforts in ensuring that a policy was developed on reproductive and maternal policy in Nigeria.
He assured of continued support for effective implementation of the policy.