Awka-Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala says that the state will collaborate with IPAS Nigeria in order to ensure that women enjoy reproductive health and rights in the state.
Dr Okpala said this during an advocacy visit by the team from IPAS Nigeria in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.
IPAS is an International Non-Governmental organisation that works around the World to increase women’s ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.
The Commissioner explained that the collaboration would help in ensuring that women exercised rights in decision-making with regards to reproductive health and other health related issues that concerned them.
He commended the group for championing the campaigns on women’s reproductive health and rights in Nigeria, assuring them of the state Government’s support in achieving their objectives.
“The cabinets and political appointees of Gov. Willie Obiano are mainly women with reputable character and there is no way the Government will not support this cause.
“We as a ministry, I will continue to play our own role as far as it concerns the issue of health in the state.’’
Dr Okpala urged them to ensure that their activities aligned with the ministry’s activities, so that the ministry would be at the driver’s seat with regards to their programmes in the state.
“We take ownership of data; I believe that when you people arrive fully, the rules will be made known through Mrs Edith Nwachukwu, Head of Planning, Research and Statistics in charge of data.’’
Mr Lucky Palmer, Country Director Ipas Nigeria, said that the organisation was established in 2000.
According to him, Ipas has inaugurated and collaborated with various networks, civil society groups and institutions of Government to advocate for women’s reproductive health and rights.
Mr Palmer commended the ministry on its efforts at ensuring the right environment for attainment of health for Ndi Anambra and for Nigerian women to fully enjoy their reproductive health and rights.
“We are here to talk about some of the projects we want to start in the state and to inform you that we will be having a meeting with your team to discuss those projects.
“I am here personally to invite you to our 2-day meeting with your team.’’
According to him, the commitment of the State Ministry of Health in providing them with office allocation demonstrated your unfettered support for Ipas mission and vision in the state and Nigeria.
“Association of General Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria has helped us in capacity building of no fewer than 74 healthcare providers on post Abortion and Post Abortion family planning services in the state.’’
In attendance during the visit are Director, Public Health/Disease Control, Dr Uchechukwu Onyejimbe, Dr Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu, Director of Medical Services and Mrs Uche Udeze, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services.
Others are Mrs Edith Nwachukwu, Head Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs Udodilim Mojekwu, Coordinator Reproductive Health.
Source: Anambra State Government