The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has signed the Pledge Card to Support and Promote Citizen Engagement and Accountability for Maternal, Newborn and Adolescent Health.
Professor Osinbajo signed the Pledge Card in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria led by the Chairperson,Dr. Nanna Chidi–Emmanuel.
The pledge card is part of the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria current campaign for citizen- led accountability for Maternal Newborn and Child Health.
In his remark, the Acting president who congratulated the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria, for a job well done,said that the citizen-led accountability was a reflection of the present administrations goal to ensure that citizens receive quality care and given the platform to questions government initiatives around health.
He stressed that citizens input was vital resource in decision making process and ensures that government gets citizens buy in on issues that concern their health.
Professor Osinbajo urged the White Ribbon Alliance to document success stories from the campaign.
The pledge card reads”I pledge to support Citizen Led accountability in Nigeria.
I commit to support and lead efforts around accountability to improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services which will contribute to reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality in Nigeria. I pledge to create an enabling environment for citizens’ engagement.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole commended the WRAN’s citizen-led accountability campaign.
Prof. Adewole, said that citizens’ involvement was necessary for good health delivery.
‘’ Gone are the days when government does it alone’’ what we as authority can do is to provide leadership and citizens provide support. ,”the minister said.
At the event the Chairperson,White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria,Dr. Nanna Chidi–Emmanuel said the act was a strong demonstration of the commitment of the present administration to advance the cause of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria.
“White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria(WRAN) is a network of advocates across Nigeria who strive to upload the rights of all women to safe pregnancy and childbirth. “WRAN convenes diverse national and local coalitions that advocates for the right policies, sufficient resources, delivery and implementation of commitment, and information dissemination so that all girls and women are able to demand their right to safe pregnancy and childbirth.”
“We have also led campaigns to push for state governments to invest more in ensuring that women and children have access to community health insurance. This also led to the training of civil society organizations in Benue and Plateau States to sustain the advocacy at the state level.”the Chairperson said.
According to Dr. Chidi–Emmanuel all women, children and adolescent have the human right to the highest standard of Health.” The Global Strategy strives for a world in which every mother can enjoy a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, every child, can survive beyond their fifth birthday, and every woman, child and adolescent can thrive to realize their full potential.”
“The campaign is led by citizens who are engaging policy makers to promote community ownership of health facilities, drive policies that will make use of citizens input in the design and delivery of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services, improve utilization of primary health care facilities and improve quality of care.”
She commended the federal government initiative to revitalize 10, 000 primary health care centers across the country.
“Only through commitments by governments both at national, state and local government levels can we achieve the SDGs and ensure every woman looks forward to safe pregnancy and a healthy birth experience. We can and must all rise to the challenge to address the needs of pregnant women and children.”she added.
“We see that government is doing so much to improve, maternal, newborn and child health in Nigeria, however more work is still needed, and with a doubled efforts, and increased funding for the health sector, Nigeria would achieve complete access to quality and equitable health care.’
Over the years WRAN has led advocacy to ensure that women have access to respectful and dignified care in health centres.
This include the call for health workers in Nigeria to uphold the universal rights of childbearing women so that pregnant women in Nigeria are not abused verbally and physically when they go to health centres. The National Council on Health in 2013, approved a policy for the Respectful Maternity Care Charter to become a standard of practice at all levels of care.