By Hassan Zaggi
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has charged state governors to implement youth friendly services and ensure improved investments in youths.
He also charged them to initiate policies that will reduce maternal deaths attributable to adolescent pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
Adewole gave the charge at the inaugural Prof Babatunde Osotimehin Annual Memorial Lecture titled: “Implication of the Population of 190 million on economic development and health/wellbeing of future generations of Nigerians” organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
The lecture is in memory of Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, a former Health Minister in Nigeria. Until his demise last year, Prof. Osotimehin was the Executive Director of UNFPA..
He, further charged stakeholders in the health sector, traditional leaders and other partners to make positive changes that would translate into positive contributions to the economic development of Nigeria for the betterment of the lives of women and children.
“I will continue to advocate to state governments to implement youth friendly services and to ensure improved investments in our youths and reduction of unnecessary maternal deaths attributable to adolescent pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
“These are cardinal issues that Professor Babatunde Osotimehin stood for while on this planet. We can guarantee an enduring legacy of a brighter future for all our women. girls and young ones by staying focused and on track..
“I am calling on all stakeholders, from Federal and State governments, the private sector, traditional leaders, health-care workers, Community Based Organisations and Implementing Partners, to help make the changes that would translate into positive contribution to Nigeria’s economic development and even more importantly, significantly enhance the lives of millions of women and children,” the minister said.
According to him, Nigeria is at the threshold of reaping the demographic dividend following the expected decline in dependency ratio, or the number of children and elderly (under age 15 and over age 65) divided by the number of working age adults (between ages 15-64), over this period from 83 dependents per 100 workers in 2010 to only 50 dependents per 100 workers by 2050.