The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, has said that collaboration and partnerships with international and local individuals and organisations were crucial to the realisation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.
A statement by Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, said that Mamora spoke on Thursday in Abuja when he received a team of Marie Stopes International Organisation in Nigeria (MSION).
He was responding to the submissions of the Country Director of MSION, Effiom N. Effiom, whose team requested for partnership with the health ministry to meet its “MSI2030 Goals”.
The statement said that the MSION team included Dr Kingsley Odogwu, its Director of Clinical Services, and Mrs. Yemisi Omekeh, MSION’s Director of Procurement and Logistics.
Mamora told his visitors that there was need to have collaboration and partnership to support UHC goals.
He, however, said that it was also necessary to look at the availability, accessibility and affordability of the services MSION was concerned with.
The minister said that students, workers and many other groups cutting across cultural divides of the Nigerian demographics were among people who seek the services of MSION.
He suggested that improvement on the existing partnership between the health ministry and the organisation should be viewed from a point of “enlightened self-interest.”
Further supporting his claim of a need to collaborate and partner with MSION in what it does for the segments of the Nigerian population, Mamora said, “even when right to life is guaranteed in our constitution, it should be by choice and not by accident”.
Effiom, Country Director of MSION, had earlier disclosed that his organisation was collaborating with government at all levels to strengthen healthcare delivery.
“We offer comprehensive services that enable women all over Nigeria to choose their reproductive health future through various service delivery channels. We tailor our services to ensure that no one is left behind.
“We try to ensure safe abortion and Post-Abortion Care Services (PACs) and help women to access contraception.
“With the support of partners, the company delivers high-quality contraception and PAC to women and girls wherever they live,” he said.
Effiom further disclosed that his organisation was seeking partnership with the FMOH.
He said that MSION in 2019 ensured that 1.9 million unintended pregnancies were averted.
“Within the same period, 840,000 unsafe abortions were averted through the 1.05 million safe abortion and post-abortion services provided, while 3.7 million women accessed contraceptives provided for Nigerians.”
He revealed that 11,000 maternal deaths were averted, stating that 23 per cent of MSION’s client-visits were to people under the ages of 20, with 120,000 adolescents reached each year.
It was reported that the “MSI2030 Goals” are wrapped around a vision of ensuring and helping Nigerian women to “have children by choice and not by chance” and that “every birth is wanted.”
By this, a target of 120 million women and girls will be served with high quality Safe Reproductive Health (SRH) services.
It is expected that this will guarantee that 80 per cent will be those with the greatest need, with one out of four women having their demand for contraception met by Marie Stopes International (MSI) or MSI-Supported Service.
It will also significantly reduce unsafe abortion through having MSI support one in three.