By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Agency, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, has revealed over 15 million women, 19 years of age give birth every year, globally with over 4 million of them ending up in abortion.
Balarabe, who was represented by a director in the agency, DT. Iliyasu Neyu at an event to commemorate the ‘World Population Day’ in Kaduna organized in collaboration with the agency and funded by Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), through Development Communication (DevComs) Network, added that the whole essence of the commemoration is to “educate youths to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
“To raise public awareness about dangers of too early childbirth, educate on STD (sexually transmitted diseases), demand effective laws and policies implementation in order to protect girl child rights, ensure access of equal primary education.
“Make sure the easy access of reproductive health services everywhere as part the basic primary health for each poverty, to protect and empower youths of both gender and sensitise them on the need to delay marriages till they are able to understand their responsibilities.”
Speaking on the theme for the year which is, “Family Planning as a Human right”, Dr. Balarabe, noted that, “a basic human right is to be able to get safe and effective family planning. It should also be a voluntary choice.
“Human Rights Aspects of Family Planning,“ connects this right to “the dignity and worth of the human person,” and notes the relationship between access to family planning and the status of women.
“2018 marks the 50th anniversary of a conference that focused on family planning. In 1968, the International Conference on Human Rights was held. For the first time ever, family planning was affirmed to be a human right.
“The Tehran Proclamation, adopted during the conference, states that it is a basic right of parents to be able to decide on the number and spacing of their children.
“Millions of women, globally, are still not given access to safe and effective family planning methods. Which is why it has been chosen as the focus for 2018.”
She enumerated some standards to uphold the human right to family planning as follows; Non-discrimination, availability, accessibility, acceptability, good quality. Others are informed decision-making, privacy and confidentiality, participation and accountability.
Coordinator of the Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), Sekyen Dadik, earlier in her remarks, noted, most women are not aware that family planning is a human right.
She charged the media with the responsibility to educate them on their human right, saying, since over population have an overbearing effects on every part of life like diseases, poverty and crime, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that proper child spacing is adopted.
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