Nigeria: Lagos state to strengthen health institutions, enforce laws

Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

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The Lagos State Government has promised to intensify efforts at strengthening the health institutions and enforce relevant laws to enhance the full emancipation of women and girls in the state.

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, made the promise at the maiden Lagos Women Forum, organized by Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, with the theme: “Woman, Your Health, Your Social Environment”.

Dr. Adebule said that irrespective of the phenomenal progress in science and technology, majority of women around the world, especially in the developing countries had yet to live up to their full potential.

According to her, this can be attributed to the regressive social conditioning in which the rights of women are subjugated, including her rights to good health and well-being.

“Majority of our women are out there working hard and toiling day and night to provide and cater for their households and families and in the circumstance fail to prioritize their health needs.

“’Many women are victims of female genital mutilation, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, and these impact negatively on their physical, mental and social health.

“It is unfortunate that 23 years after countries signed pledges in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, women still face many health-cum-social problems and we must re-commit to addressing them.

“Today’s forum is another opportunity, therefore, to say enough is enough and women must embrace sustainable advocacy and take conscious action on matters concerning their health and how they are treated by the society at large.

“We should no longer be stereotyped into silence, but become vocal advocates for improved health delivery system and social justice for women in Lagos State and the country at large,” she said.

Dr Adebule said that government Akinwunmi Ambode led-administration was committed to standing beside and behind the women in their struggle for liberation, as well as their human rights to good health and well-being.

“We will continue to focus on investing and increasing access to good health, quality education and ensure that laws are enforced to respect the rights of women and girls.

“We must also vigorously lead the campaigns to condemn in strong terms, violence and flagrant abuse of women, such as forced marriages, trafficking, rape and sexual assault.

“We have a responsibility to be actively involved in helping to change the narrative, cultural practices, and traditions that demean the self-worth of women.

“We will continue to organize effective life-skills and entrepreneurship programmes that will enhance the capacities of women to become change agents and are able to contribute meaningfully to their families and the society.

“Let me use this occasion to appeal to all our women to join hands with the government in winning the battle against dogmas inimical to healthy lifestyles and social malaise of domestic violence, child abuse, rape and teenage pregnancy,” she said.

The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, said the forum aimed at providing a platform where women could engage in sustainable discourse to increase their knowledge on the need to prioritize their health and well-being.

Governor Ambode urged women to be health conscious, play great roles in combating vices as well as know their rights.

She also urged women to remain united, focused and be a voice for women, children, and men.

The event featured free health checks — blood sugar, blood pressure, cervical cancer and breast cancer screening for participants.
– Hauwa Mustapha I VON