Stakeholders at a three day capacity building workshop on women’s sexual reproductive health and Global Rights rule for journalists have called for budget line for women’s health in the country.
Those who spoke at the workshop organised by IPAS, an international NGO in Nassarawa state also stressed the need to explore other innovative funding mechanisms so that more women and girls are reached with family planning information and services to achieve the country’s family planning goals.
“The Gag Rule is a U.S. presidential policy which restricts how foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) can use their privately-raised funds if they wish to receive U.S. global health assistance.”
“These organizations must agree to not use their own money for abortion-related advocacy and most abortion services, counseling or referral, or advocacy for abortion law liberalization, otherwise, they will not be eligible to receive U.S. global health assistance funds.”
Dr Abiola expressed worry over the consequences of unmet women’s health and reproductive needs which had increased during the COVID19 period.
She said there was need for Nigeria government to do more in supporting women to have more access to contraceptives by allocating and releasing funds for reproductive health.
On his part, the Country Director of Ipas (Nigeria), Mr Lucky Palmer called for review of abortion policy in Nigeria which can only be performed to save a woman’s life.
He noted that Unsafe abortion was a major contributor to the country’s high levels of maternal death, ill health and disability among women of reproductive age
“In 2012, 212,000 women were treated in health facilities for complications of induced abortion. “
“An estimated 285,000 women had complications from unsafe abortion serious enough to require treatment in health facilities,but did not obtain the care they needed.’he said.
Dr Mr Lucky Palmer who said Nigeria spends 40 billion naira yearly to treat complications from abortion observed that abortions are common, and most are unsafe because they are done secretly by unskilled providers or both.
“Some women use different kinds of dangerous substances to bring down abort cassava stick,drink petrol,hanger or all manner of concoctions.”he added.
Dr Palmer noted that the present abortion law in the country had outdated and was passed unto us by the colonial masters.
“Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world, and little improvement has occurred in recent years.”he added.