Nigeria’s po­si­tion at the 47th United Na­tions’ CPD ses­sion

Daily Trust - - HEALTH INTERACTIVE -

The con­clud­ing part of the Nigeria’s pre­sen­ta­tion made at the ple­nary ses­sion of the 47th Ses­sion of the United Na­tions’ Com­mis­sion on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment (CPD) on Thurs­day 10th April 2014 was in­struc­tive and un­der­pins the har­mony be­tween govern­ment and civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions del­e­gates at the con­fer­ence in New York. The pre­sen­ta­tion was made by the Chair­man of the Nigeria’s Na­tional Pop­u­la­tion Com­mis­sion Chief Eze Du­rui­heoma, SAN. He ended by ob­serv­ing that “May I con­clude by in­ti­mat­ing this distin­guished gath­er­ing that the Nigeria del­e­ga­tion at this ses­sion and for the ICPD Be­yond 2014 process is a unique and united group of govern­ment and civil so­ci­ety groups, united with one voice and an agenda “to trans­form the lives of all its cit­i­zens to a healthy and pro­duc­tive pop­u­la­tion for rapid and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the na­tion”.

It was re­fresh­ing to note that many meet­ings were held prior to the con­fer­ence in Abuja to re­view and as­sess col­lec­tively the progress of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment (ICPD +20) with many of us from the civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions, govern­ment of­fi­cials and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment part­ners. Even when we ar­rived New York, 2 meet­ing were held at the Nigeria Per­ma­nent Mis­sion to the UN to har­monise and en­sure one voice.

This was aimed to en­sure that as Nige­ri­ans we don’t present a ‘2 fronts’ which could em­bar­rass the en­tire coun­try be­fore the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. This how­ever will not stop the civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions from fur­ther en­gag­ing govern­ment to en­sure the right poli­cies are in place and prop­erly im­ple­mented. Many is­sues were raised in the Nige­rian paper but I will talk about few and add some com­ments and ques­tions.

Re­gard­ing health he ob­served that we have launched the ‘ Cam­paign on Ac­cel­er­ated Re­duc­tion on Ma­ter­nal Mor­tal­ity (CARMMA) in 2009’. It is im­por­tant that we as­sess the suc­cess of the launch as well as what has hap­pened since 2009 in terms of im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The chair­man has also noted that “Nigeria has made mean­ing­ful progress at some of the ICPD PoA in the last two decades. In­fant mor­tal­ity has re­duced from 97.2/1000 to 69/1000 live births, child mor­tal­ity rate re­duced from 115.2/1000 to 64/1000 live births and Un­der 5 mor­tal­ity re­duced from 192.4/1000 to 128/1000 live births be­tween 1990 – 2013 (NDHS re­ports). Equally ma­ter­nal death has re­duced from 800/100,000 live births in 2003 to 545/100,000 live births in 2008”. Yes these are laud­able achieve­ments as a na­tional aver­age for each of the in­di­ca­tor men­tioned above. It is im­por­tant we dis­ag­gre­gate these achieve­ments and as­sess which part of the coun­try are reporting worse in­di­ca­tors and co­or­di­nate an ac­cel­er­ated in­ter­ven­tions that will pos­i­tively change them.

The pre­sen­ta­tion also noted that “In or­der to cre­ate uni­ver­sal ac­cess to RH/ FP com­modi­ties (free) and ser­vices, govern­ment has com­mit­ted $ 11.5 mil­lion an­nu­ally for the next 4 years”. I want to add that at this crit­i­cal part of our life, it is ex­pected that we move from talk­ing “com­mit­ment and al­lo­ca­tion” to ac­tual and timely re­lease of fi­nan­cial re­sources and to pur­chase, dis­trib­ute all over the coun­try and make them avail­able to the women in need. I want to re-echo that Nigeria govern­ment had spo­ken so elo­quently at the Lon­don Sum­mit in 2012 and re­it­er­ated that “in ad­di­tion to our cur­rent an­nual com­mit­ment of US$3 mil­lion for the pro­cure­ment of re­pro­duc­tive health com­modi­ties, we are now com­mit­ting to pro­vide an additional US$8,350,000 an­nu­ally over the next four years, mak­ing a to­tal of US$33,400,000 over the next four years. This is an in­crease of 300 per­cent.” We are com­mit­ted to achiev­ing the goal of a con­tra­cep­tive preva­lence rate (CPR) of 36 per­cent by 2018. Re­gret­tably hav­ing said all these, in 2013 not a sin­gle kobo was re­lease to pur­chase the drugs. This re­quires our col­lec­tive ef­fort to mean­ing­fully en­gage in tar­geted and fo­cused ad­vo­cacy to en­sure re­sources are avail­able this year.

An­other achieve­ment men­tioned in the paper was “only 50 cases of polio was re­ported in 2013, which rep­re­sent 57 per­cent re­duc­tion from 2012 122 cases in 13 states”. We should not re­lent in our ef­fort un­til we join the league of In­dia by declar­ing Nigeria free of Polio.

I was im­pressed when the chair­man men­tioned “What We Want for the Nige­rian People” in the ICPD Be­yond 2014 agenda. Some of them worth men­tion­ing here; “Ad­vanc­ing Gen­der Equal­ity, Eq­uity & Em­pow­er­ment of Women in­clud­ing the erad­i­ca­tion of poverty, im­prove Sex­ual and Re­pro­duc­tive Health of Ado­les­cents,……Nigeria achieve the Con­tra­cep­tive Preva­lence Rate (CPR) tar­get of 36 per­cent by 2018; ad­dress the sex­ual health of ado­les­cent/teenage girls par­tic­u­larly, re­duce ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity and mor­bid­ity by 2/3 of cur­rent level and ac­cel­er­ate the preven­tion and scale-up treat­ment of STIs and HIV/ AIDS. Also, pro­mote ini­tia­tives that will elim­i­nate all vi­o­lence against women & girls and chil­dren in­clud­ing those in con­flict sit­u­a­tions------- and “en­sure “Un­re­stricted” uni­ver­sal ac­cess to all range of RH com­modi­ties and con­sum­ables/ser­vices “at no fee” to meet the need of women and ado­les­cents.”

The paper also ob­served that we want to “fos­ter global part­ner­ship and col­lab­o­ra­tion to sup­port the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ICPD Be­yond 2014 agenda, evolve ap­pro­pri­ate data collection and man­age­ment strat­egy for ef­fec­tive Mon­i­tor­ing and Eval­u­a­tion of ICPD Be­yond 2014 Pro­gramme of Ac­tion tar­gets and pro­mote good gov­er­nance, trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity.

These are ex­cel­lent but “HOW” do we en­sure im­ple­men­ta­tion so that by next year dur­ing the 48th ses­sion, we will be talk­ing about progress and shar­ing case stud­ies of suc­cess. Now that we are back home it is im­per­a­tive that aware­ness is raised at the high­est places and en­gage­ment be­gin to ac­tu­alise sus­tained de­vel­op­ment and re­ver­sal of the worst in­di­ca­tors.

All com­ments to Dr Aminu Ma­gashi at health­weekly@ya­hoo.com

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