The Challenge Initiative (TCI) has called for increased awareness on the need for women of childbearing age to key into family planning in Osun State.
The organisation also urged the state government and other stakeholders to work towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The plea was made at a strategic meeting for Family Planning advocacy held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Health, Abeere, on Tuesday.
Speaking during the program, the State Program Manager of TCI, Dr. Adebusola Oyeyemi noted that family planning was the most cost-effective way of achieving reduction in maternity and child mortality and morbidity, adding that it also improves maternal and child health.
She said there was a need to address the challenges facing uptake of Family Planning in the State.
Oyeyemi urged traditional, community and religious leaders to educate their subjects on the need to key into the program to have a safer community.
She also appealed to parents to monitor their children and help in their sexual reproductive health decision-making to avoid unwanted and unsafe abortions.
According to her, ending poverty and ensuring quality education to promote sustainable economic growth in the state would not be achievable if women had no access to quality and right-based family planning services.
She said: “Family Planning is the most cost-effective way of achieving reduction in maternal and child mortality and morbidity and improved maternal and child health
“Contraceptive access is incorporated in the SDGs, and FP2020’s goal of reaching 120 million women and girls, and is a critical benchmark on the global path to universal access by 2030. The SDGs make specific reference to family planning in the Goals 3 and 5.
“By 2030, we have to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.
“I want to call on our traditional rulers, community and religious leaders to enlighten our women on the importance of keying into Family Planning.
“It will be impossible to end poverty and hunger, ensure quality education for all and promote sustained economic growth without ensuring that every woman has access to quality, right-based family planning services.”
Earlier in his address, the state Director of Public Health, Dr Akeem Bello said the state government would always prioritise the health of its citizens.
Dr Bello appreciated TCI for their support, promising that the ministry would do more in terms of awareness.
Participants at the meeting also promised to take the awareness to their communities.