The Federal Government has inaugurated the Project Steering Committee (PSC) on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for Adolescent Girls and Women in some selected States in Northern Nigeria.
Speaking recently, in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, noted that ‘’ it is one of the many efforts in advancing the health as well as developmental issues related to Adolescent Girls and Women in Nigeria.
Prof. Adewole informed that ‘’ this initiative will not end with just the few Northern states but will be scaled up to other states, eventually’’
He emphasised that ‘’ the Federal Government in her commitment to the course of advancing the health and development of Nigerian young people especially the adolescent girls and women has developed documents, such as the National Reproductive Health Policy as well as the National Policy on the Health and Development of Adolescents and other young persons in Nigeria’’, he added.
The Minister lauded the Government of Canada, CHAI, Save the Children, Global Affairs Canada and Women’s Right Organization for their continued financial support and stronger collaboration toward improvement in Healthcare Service Delivery in Nigeria.
To this end, the Minister spelt out Terms of Reference(TOR) for the PSC to include: Review Program Work Plan to address key Bottlenecks and Propose Strategic Direction and Guidance for implementation, Review and Approve project Documents including annual work plans and reports, Monitor the on-going Implementation of the project by holding program progress and performance reviews, Identify Opportunities and Develop Strategies for Successful Program Transition and Sustainability of Program Impact, among others.
In his opening remarks, the Head, Gender, Adolescent/School Health Elderly Care Division (GASHE), Dr. Chris Ugboko, said ‘’Adolescent are faced with lots of physical and psychological challenges which negatively affect growth and development and all too frequently, pose risks to reproductive health’’. He added that there was need to improve Health and Social Services aimed at Adolescents, including Reproductive Health Services.
In his Goodwill message, the Country Director, Save the Children, Ben Foot, pledged continuous collaboration with FMOH for better coordination towards improving Nigeria’s Reproductive Health Services.