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Sokoto Partners UNFPA on Reproductive Health Awareness

The Sokoto State Government in collaboration with The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has inaugurated an advocacy Technical Working Group, on Reproductive Health, Adolescents and Youth activities.

The group was inaugurated by the Executive Secretary of the Sokoto State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Ibrahim Malami in Sokoto.

Malami, who was represented by the District Head of Gagi, Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, underscored the importance of awareness on reproductive health, adolescents and youths-friendly activities.

He said that the RH-A&Y group would promote a healthy population, maternal health, increase access to health facilities and other empowerment that would ensure citizens become productive.

Malami said the committee was expected to guide targeted people on the right systems, practices, medications and other constructive modalities including a request that attention be given to identified emerging areas.

He said, “The purpose is to ensure that men and women in all their diversity are well informed and be fully involved in the processes.

“The committee is, therefore, expected to work with the stakeholders and serve as the coordinating body and advisory body to the Ministries of Budget and Economic Planning, Health, Women and Children Affairs on issues of Reproductive Health, Adolescents and Youths activities.”

Malami noted that the projected reach was being hindered by conflicts, climate change, rising poverty and inequality.

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According to him, these have continued to hinder efforts to transform gender and social norms that underpin the harmful practices and disrupt programmes to help protect women.

The UNFPA Programme Officer in Sokoto State, Mrs. Gloria Eneuze, reiterated its commitment to support the Reproductive Health, Adolescents and Youths activities as well as others towards promoting healthy living.

She said the effort’s transformative results included ending maternal deaths, unmet need for family planning, youth productive engagements and Gender-Based Violence and harmful traditional practices, including FGM.

“The UNFPA is committed to supporting global and national programmes to accelerate the best reproductive health practices and acceptance, abandonment of the harmful traditional practice and thereby, advance the rights, health and well-being of women and girls,’’ she added.

The Reproductive Health Coordinator in the State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Mairo Rabiu-Sharif, urged stakeholders to contribute to advocating more awareness, and response on reproductive health, adolescents and youth activities.

She said that reproductive health took the largest share of poor practices as one of the health challenges in Nigeria, especially in the rural areas.

She further called on all the stakeholders to collaborate to bring an end to the harmful traditional practices, misconceptions and other issues detrimental to healthy growth.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee is headed by the Director, Community Health, SSPHCDA, Mr. Sale Abdu, while its membership consists of officials of the Family Health Department in the Ministries of Health, Budget and Economic Planning and other government officials.

Others are the representatives of donor agencies, traditional institutions, NGOs, CBOs journalists and health educators.