By Adams Taibat Onize
Sequel to the pressing issues affecting young people in the country, it became a thing of necessity to address and ensure some of this issues are well tackled with a good approach.
Hence a two-day Strategic Retreat with NGOs, Young people and Media was organized by African Health Budget Network.
This was carried out in order to promote Accountability for FP2030 commitment, Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) and Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) and Sexual Gender Based Violence Justice in Nigeria.
As a representatives of the youth, representing the Nigeria meaningful adolescent and youth engagement working group. Having the CSOs and media. It was noted that the importance of the gathering is focused on increasing advocacy efforts especially now at the cusp of a new government taking charge.
Making emphases on the importance of the gathering in advocating for the timely release, procurement and distribution of essential commodities when due.
From this training and retreat, I learn that there is a need for a quick and proper actions to be taken, in order to improve our health sector, relentlessly hold the government accountable for timely release of funds to achieve FP2030, which will eventually lead to improved good health practices among our people, most especially young people and people of reproductive age.
I was privileged to participate in group works where we developed an advocacy messages to the federal ministry, State MOH and LGA, with recommendations for ENAP/EPMM implementation, and Action Plan in Curbing, accelerating Response and Litigation on SGBV. Stakeholders, including NGOs, young people and the media, played their roles effectively during the group work.
The press release section was a great call by Nigeria Meaningful Adolescent and Youth Engagement Working Group to congratulate all newly elected governments and a call to action for government to prioritize Young Peoples Health and Developments across Nigeria. We appreciate AHBN for gracing all young people at large this great opportunity.
I am glad to have participated in the excellent training session on Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Issues in Nigeria. It has brought me up-to-date on the new skills in my profession. It gives such a thrilling experience to be trained by the expertise. The trainers made themselves gregarious and approachable which allowed me rub mind with them on my experience on SGBV after the training.
In addition to advocating for funds to be allocated to healthcare, we can take a proactive approach by providing recommendations to the government on how to effectively utilize the funds.
Employing health economists who can present investment cases at the federal level would help ensure that the allocated money is directed towards crucial health-related initiatives. It is important to address the lack of executive capacity in utilizing the funds efficiently. Instead of solely highlighting problems, our focus should shift towards advocating for accountability and offering solutions.
During the course of the 2 days’ workshop, a REVIEW AND OVERVIEW of the FP2030 was presented by Mrs. Halimah Bello who made emphases and shared with us the overview of the Nigeria FP2030 commitments. The presentation involved:
Rationale for the FP2030 benchmark, Partnership guiding principles, Vision statement, FP2030’s 8 Commitments as written in the official document, Call to action for CSO’s and advocates to promote financial commitments for FP2030.
Mrs. Maimuna Abdullahi called for renewed action to achieve the targets of reducing maternal, newborn, and stillbirth rates by 2030 and stressed that accountability is a responsibility that all Nigerians must take seriously.
Hence, it becomes paramount for Young people to be given the opportunities to be in decision making spaces so they can be able to render non-judgmental services and spaces for more effective family planning initiatives.
And through this retreat, I can tell that the narratives are changing. Young people like me, are being given the opportunity to champion a positive course that will contribute positively to the development of the country and to other young persons.
This is a huge experience for me and a good opportunity for me to keep impacting positively.
I sincerely appreciate AHBN for given me and all young people at large this great opportunity.
Adams Taibat Onize, MAYE Co-chair writes this piece from Abuja.