The Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) in conjunction with the Partnership For Advocacy in Child and Family Health @ Scale (PASA) organised the 1st edition of the Professor BabatundeOsotimehin Legacy Forum. It was held on the 19th of July, 2019 at the Conference Centre in the University of Ibadan.
In her remarks, Mrs FunkeOsotimehin advocated for the education of Family Planning to be extended to not just young and teenage girls, but also to their mothers.
In his goodwill message, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of health, through his representative Dr KayodeAfolabi recognized the contributions of Prof.Osotimehin to the health sector through his leadership at the National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA), as the Honourable Minister of Health, and as the UNFPA Executive Director. He said the FMOH is committed to ensuring Nigeria achieves the modern contraceptive prevalence rate of 27% by the year 2020.
Dr Omolola Omosehin, speaking on behalf of the UNFPA said the organization would remember Prof.Osotimehin for his tenacious advocacy for the health of women, for gender equality and youth and women empowerment. He described Prof.Osotimehin as a man of vision who was politically astute and incredibly eloquent.
Other goodwill messages came in from guests present, like the Provost of the College of Medicine at the University of Ibadan and the former Vice-Chancellor of Igbenedion University, Professor EghosaOsarumen.
Prof.Otolorin who delivered the keynote address talked about a lot of family planning variables and their impact on the country. He said our rapid population growth is a barrier to our development as our economy is growing below the population growth rate. He identified an inverse relationship between the rate of contraception use and degree of education and economic status and emphasized the needs to improve the numbers.
Discussions by the panel made up of state and private actors in the Family Planning sector surrounded issues such as adopting a multi-sectorial sector-wide approach to implementing administrative and financial policies, public health financing, the role of the private sector in advocacy and implementation of family planning, the factors that affect the use of contraceptives among young people, innovations in the uptake and use of family planning methods and the need for collaboration rather than competition in the advancement of family planning goals.
VOICES FROM THE FIELD
Private organizations and Civil Society Organizations also presented their works and researches around family planning advocacy and implementation across the country.
The Forum came to an end with a launch of a special edition of the African Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences Supplement. The edition holds works of about 30 authors and was compiled in honour of Prof.Osotimehin who was a one-time editor of the journal.
A review of the 1st Professor Babatunde Osotimehin Legacy Forum would not be complete without highlighting the camaraderie and warm collegiality among discussants at the event.