The Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, has said the 7th Assembly will support the State Ministry of Health to enhance access to sexual and reproductive health services of adolescent girls and women in the State.
Speaker Bassey made the pledge on Tuesday, when he received a delegation from the State Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), who were at the Conference Hall of the Assembly Complex to intimate him about the Integrated Approach to Empowering Adolescent Girls and Women in the State.
Speaking further, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey said the Akwa Ibom State legislature under his watch, will make laws that will enable the Ministry of Health to ensure improved access to sexual and reproductive health services in the State.
“Our duty is legislation. In the sixth Assembly, we passed the Primary Healthcare Bill. Based on what the Permanent Secretary has said, the 7th Assembly will support the Ministry of Health to ensure the project thrives in oder to improve the sexual and reproductive health of our people.”
He commended the Wife of the Governor for also improving the health situation of Akwa Ibom girls and women through the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP).
He urged the Technical Partners from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to extend the project to more Local Government Areas in the State, to enable more people benefit from the gesture.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Health Ministry, Pharm. Mbuk Inyang, pointed out that the Integrated Approach to Empowering Adolescent Girls and Women seeks to improve access to sexual and reproductive heath services and rights of women and adolescents in the State.
He said the project will also strengthen the availability of quality family planning information and services in the State, thereby increasing the Contraceptives Prevalence Rate (CPR) to the National target of 36 per cent.
He said the project will be implemented in 75 Primary Healthcare Facilities spread across the three Senatorial Districts in twelve Local Government Areas, including Abak, Etim Ekpo, Itu, Ikot Ekpene, and Nsit Ibom.
Other Local Governments he listed include Obot Akara, Onna, Udung Uko, Ukanafun and Urue-Offong/Oruku and cited the State Ministry of Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PFN), Association for Reproduction and Family Health (ARFH) and the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP) as implementing partners.
Earlier, the National Programme Analyst for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Araoginbo Udowa will through the project, lessen the cost and improve access to family planning services by Akwa Ibom People.
He said by so doing, child mortality rate which is he said is currently high, will reduce in the State and further thanked the Speaker for granting them audience.
By Uwakmfon Dan