Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State government has restated its commitment towards addressing the increasing spate of unwanted pregnancies occasioned by high rate of unprotected sex in the state.
Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Dr. Emmanuel Eru who disclosed this while playing host to a delegation from the Center for Family and Reproductive Health Support Initiative (CFRHSI) led by its chairman, Prof. Terumun Swende in his office at the weekend lamented the rate of unprotected sex leading to unwanted pregnancies in the state.
Eru who noted that the state had set up a quackery committee to look into the increasing rate of abortions which on many occasions had led to death in the state, revealed that the committee had already nabbed one native quack doctor in North Bank area of Makurdi whose stock in trade was to mix local herbs and insert into pregnant women for abortion.
He commended the CFRHSI for the level of awareness it is creating in the state to ensure that more people key into the use of contraceptives as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies.
The Health Commissioner however urged the group to intensify its efforts especially in the rural areas of the state even as he promised that the state government would provide the necessary support required for the success of the program.
He assured that although, a separate budget line was yet to be created for family planning interventions in the state, he would include it in the supplementary budget but that in the mean time, the group could tap from resources accruing to the ‘Save One Million Lives’ to carry out its programs.
“Benue has a low patronage of contraceptives as a result of ignorance. Hence the need to intensify more effort in that regard. FP is one areas that the state really needs to key into because there are a lot of unwanted pregnancies which end in children whose parents cannot cater for.
“Most of these children end up engaging in nefarious activities to survive and this has been a burden for us especially in the face of depleting economic resources. That is why we welcome the awareness this group is creating and we promise to support you,” Eru stated.
Earlier in a remark, Chairman of the group and the Chief Medical Director of Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Prof. Terumun Swende said the group was in the Commissioner’s office to formally intimate him of its activities and the need for the state to create a separate budget line for Family Planning interventions.
Swende disclosed that the state stands to benefit a lot especially from international donor partners if it creates a budget line for family planning as had already been done by many states of the federation including, Kaduna, Nasarawa and others who are already the gains.
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