In Nigeria women’s reasons for not accessing maternal health services include a lack of money to pay for health services, lack of transportation, perceptions about the negative attitudes of health workers, and lack of permission from husbands and other family members.
These are some of the issues discussed at a one-day dialogue organised by International Society of Media in Public Health, ISMPH for health correspondents to commemorate the International Women’s Month.
At the event in Abuja, the Executive Director ISMPH,Mrs Moji Makanjuola called for the empowerment of Nigerian women in order for them take decisions that concerns their health.
“That woman that is raped has a health need. She might end up with STI. She might end up being pregnant. She’s traumatized. Some of them end up in psychiatrist homes. So, we thought that we should bring these issues to fore”
“Health is a big issue with women. The peculiarities that we have, often times emphasis has been on reproductive health, yes. We bring forth life but that’s not it all. This days, with non communicable diseases taking its toll on us as a people, we know that more and more women are coming down.’she added.
Also speaking , Health Finance Advisor. Health Policy Plus, Dr. Frances Ilika urged the media to focus their attention on stories that are women friendly.
“The media should put out messages that talks about women education . The media can engage political forces in making sure that good policies are made that actually protect women and make sure that women have access to health care”. Dr. Ilika said.
On his part, the Chairman, Association for Advancement of Family Planning, AAFP ,Dr. Ejike Orji observed that despite efforts towards reproductive health, demographic crisis are still visible,which was of great concern to health experts in the country.
“There are certain indicators that can be used to determine if Nigeria is doing well. If you look at our Contraceptive Prevalent Rate, Modern Method which means how many women out of hundred are using family planning services, only twelve out of Hundred are using it in the country.” Dr. Orji.