The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has affirmed the importance of family planning in a keynote address she gave at an event organized by the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board and National Population Commission in collaboration with the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) to mark 2017 World Population Day.
“As a public health professional, I think we need to do is to do more in the area of community engagement. We cannot continue to say children are a gift from God and continue to subject our women to untold hardship.
“We need to begin to educate our people on the need to sit down and reason with our mothers and girl-child. How do we value our women? Do we value them as a piece of furniture or do we value them as jewels of inestimable value? Men, how about looking at our women and girl children as a jewel of inestimable value and ensure that your wife stays alive to raise your children?” she queried while also charging women also to become aware of their rights.
The event which started with a health walk from Adegbemile to MKO Abiola park, was attended by stakeholders in the state health sector and the wife of the Deputy Governor, Ajewole Agboola Ajayi.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Taye Oni in his welcome address affirmed that the goal of this year’s event which is centered on Family Planning is to look into issues of unchecked population growth with view to reduce its impact.
While noting that the issue of population growth gives rise to poverty among others, he further stressed Institutions must rise up to the challenge of creating awareness on need for adequate family planning.
The Executive Secretary, Ondo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Francis Akanbiemu in his own address called on all stakeholder most especially religious heads, traditional rulers, political players, public health experts among others to promote among majority of Nigerians, the best practices that can help control a burgeoning population.
“Over population is a fall out of failure to plan for and control family size. A couple who fails to embrace family planning do not only expose themselves to the risk of a bloated family size but also its attendant consequences. The panacea to an overpopulated society is family planning.
“For us in Ondo State, our current data of 30% Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) which towers higher than the national average of 15% is a pointer to the fact that the government and a good number of our citizens have a fairly positive disposition to contraception”, he stressed.
Dr. Akanbiemu also used the opportunity to thank the Governor and his wife, His Excellency, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Arabinrin Betty Akeredolu for making qualitative health care services accessible to all citizens and for immense contributions to the health and welfare of women and children in the state.