Nasarawa Assembly will pass Bill for law to give family planning legal backing ―Opkede

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly will pass a bill for a law to give family planning programmes full legal backing, to effectively tackle maternal mortality in the state.

Alhaji Mohammed Opkede (PDP-Doma North), Chairman, House Committee on Health, disclosed this in Akwanga at the end of 3-day workshop on “Development of the Nasarawa State Costed Implementation plan for Family Planning.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised by two NGOs-Pathfinder International Nigeria and Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) in collaboration with the Nasarawa State Government.

Opkede said that the bill, if passed and becomes a law, would also promote healthy living among the people of the state, considering the enormous benefits of family planning to the development of the state.

He commended the NGO’s and the state government for organising the workshop and called for its sustenance.

“Nasarawa State House of Assembly belongs to the people of the state.

“We are going to do everything humanly possible as legislators through collaboration with the executive arm to support any programmes that would improve the health and wellbeing of our people.

“Family Planning programme is a critical area that needs attention because its importance cannot be over-emphasised to the development of the society, as it helps in reducing maternal mortality and promote healthy living.

“It also strengthens the health of the woman directly and the man indirectly as it enables the woman rest adequately in between pregnancy and child delivery.

“It also enables sexually active women and girls protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies.

“It is in view of this that we are ready to pass a Bill that will give it full legal backing in the state to encourage our people to embrace family planning.” he said.

Dr Usman Adis, the Executive Chairman,Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said government was putting in place all necessary machinery to take full ownership and sustenance of family planning programme.

Adis, represented by Dr Madawa Absalom, Director in the agency, reinstated the state government commitment in addressing problems confronting family planning.

Earlier, Ms Aanu Rotimi, Mr Yemi Osanyin, PACFaH and Pathfinder facilitators said that the workshop was to help the state develop an implementable work plan for the success of the family planningprogrammes in the state.

They added that the workshop was to also help the state develop a plan that would be usable in order to encourage family planning in the state.

They also called on the government to take full ownership of the family planning programmes with a view to giving it necessary support.

They stressed the need for government funding of the program to ensure the availability of family planning contraceptives and other services in public facilities in the state.