Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, says women empowerment and their access to quality maternal and healthcare services are key to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ambode made the assertion on Friday at the 20th Biennial Conference and 40th Anniversary/Investiture of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) held in Lagos.
The theme of the event was entitled: “Women’s Health and Empowerment: Tools for Sustainable Development.“
According to Wikipaedia, the free encyclopaedia, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 Global Goals, which are measured by progress against 169 targets.
“The SDGs cover a broad range of social development issues. Some of which are poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.
“The SDGs are also known as “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
“The goals were developed to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015.
“Unlike the MDGs, the SDG framework does not distinguish between ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ nations. Instead, it articulates goals that apply to all countries.’’
Ambode said: “Attaining SDGs without empowering women and giving them access to quality maternal and healthcare services, particularly in the area of family planning, will not yield the desired result.
“Our role as women in nation building and economic development cannot be over-emphasised, “ she said.
According to her, challenges including HIV/AIDS, cancer and other ailments have continued to cut short lives of women and children on a daily basis.
She urged MWAN to empower women with information on healthy lifestyles that would prevent untimely deaths.
Ambode urged the association to use the conference to deliberate on the modalities to encourage women on how to guard against these diseases and live healthily.
The wife of the governor also urged the association to support the government’s efforts to make quality services available to all the citizens.
“I enjoin you to support this administration through the provision of other equipment in all the healthcare facilities across the state,“ she said.
Also, the President of MWAN, Dr Modupe Abiola, said that the association had collaborated selflessly in impacting the lives of women and children.
Abiola said: “We were able to do this through the support of various organisations as well as with the support of the government.
“We have carried out and participated in a wide array of activities and programmes that cut across all spheres of life, both locally and internationally. “
She said that the association was involved in cervical and breast cancer screening for women which had led to the establishment of a Pap smear screening centre in the state.
The president of the association said that the numbers of women who visited the centre for screening had reduced due to the poor state of the facility.
She urged the government to support MWAN in resuscitating the centre in order to scale up screening activities.