The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday says out of 292,000 women that die annually either during pregnancy or childbirth, 40,515 of the deaths happen in Nigeria.
The Representatives of UNPFA in Nigeria, Mr. Eugene Kongnyuy disclosed this in his opening remarks at a one-day private sector summit themed “Sustainable Population Growth, Demographic Dividend and the Future of Nigeria: The Role of the Private Sector” that held at the Access Bank Plc headquarters in Lagos.
The summit organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of UNPFA brought together captains of industry to discuss solutions to various issues such as Gender-based violence, Gender equality and reproductive rights as well as sexual and reproductive health.
In his remarks, Mr. Kongnyuy said there are over 200 million women with no access to safe and reliable family planning methods.
According to him if Nigeria is to achieve the SDGs as it affected women, girls and youths in general, the private sector must play a key role in collaboration with the government and other development partners in addressing the challenges.
He said since the formation of the UNPFA in 1969, the number and rate of women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth has been halved, families are healthier, and young people are more connected and empowered than ever before.
In her own remark, Head of Sustainability at Access Bank Plc, Mrs. Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan said Access Bank has always been in the forefront of the campaign for sustainable development in the country, especially at it affects women and youths in the country.
“We have always committed resources in support of issues affecting women, children and the youths in general. Access Bank in partnerships with NGOs has always provided the platform for key players in the private sector to discuss issues affecting women and youths in other to achieve sustainable development.
According to her Access Bank believes that given proper investment, Nigeria’s population which is more of youths, can facilitate sustainable development, hence the bank’s commitment to the growth and development of this segment of the population.
Also speaking at the programme, former Commissioner for Health in Lagos state, Dr. Jide Idris advocated for more collaboration between the private sector and the government, stressing that the work is just too much for government alone to bear.
The panelists at the summit all agreed that partnership with local authorities is key in scaling up primary health care centres in residential vicinity to ensure more women have access to care during and after pregnancy.
The panelists included representatives fromOando Foundation, Coca-Cola Plc, Microsoft, Tolarams Group, West African Gas Pipelines Company, Merck, Pharm Access Foundation, DKT, HACEY Health Initiative, Lagos Business School, Access Bank Plc, Chevron, Nigerian Breweries, and UNICEF and also from the Ondo astate government.