By Asmau Ahmad
The Federal Government of Nigeria has intensified calls to tackle maternal mortality aimed at protecting women and girls.
The Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr Salma Anas, made the call at an event to commemorate the 2023 World Population Day (WPD) in Abuja on Tuesday with the theme “Unleashing the Power of Gender Equality, Uplifting the Voices of Women and Girls to Unlock Our World’s Infinite Possibilities.”
The WPD, observed on July 11 every year, was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989 to raise awareness of global population issues.
The theme of the day is: “Unleashing the Power of Gender Equality: Uplifting the voices of Women and Girls to unlock our World’s infinite Possibilities.”
Dr Salma Anas, therefore, urged stakeholders to unite against maternal mortality for the protection of women and girls.
She called for increased access to family planning services and commodities across the country.
She reassured President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to a healthier and better Nigeria.
The Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, also stressed the need for amplification of women and girls’ voices.
Represented by Mr Chidi Ezeoke, NPC Federal Commissioner, Anambra, Kwarra called for greater attention to women and girls, adding that “gender equality can be achieved when voices of women and girls are recognised and given deserved attention regarding their pertinent needs in terms of quality education.
“Attention should also be given to women and girls’ participation in the work force, good representation in political positions across all levels, access to quality healthcare, including family planning.”
He also stressed the need to protect women and girls from harmful practices that impede their wellbeing.
Erika Goldson, Deputy Country Representative of UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said that unlocking the full potential of girls would galvanise good leadership.
Goldson regretted that a larger number of women and girls in many communities could not exercise their rights and advised that efforts be intensified to protect the rights of everyone.