Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC) in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) on 28th and 29th of October, 2019 organized a two-day stakeholders’ review and validation meeting for the 5 years strategic plan for the implementation of National Policy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Persons with Disabilities with emphasis on Women and Girls with disabilities (WGWDs).
The project is supported by CBM, USAID and others. The goal of the meeting is to strengthen quality of the draft costed strategic Plan by Stakeholders and it is set out to achieve the following objectives: to review the various sections of the plan and provide feedback, to validate the plan(narrative and activities) in principle, to generate baseline and set targets required for developing the results framework for the Plan, to validate the cost of the plan and to generate additional information/ideas required for finalizing the document.
The Executive Director DRAC, Dr. Irene Ojiugo Patrick-Ogbogu in her opening remark expressed her gratitude to CBM and FMOH on their roles in the formulation of the policy which DRAC facilitated all the processes financially and technically with the active participation of the disability community, she assured that DRAC will continue to work with all the relevant stakeholders to see to the implementation of the policy.
There were goodwill messages from Dr. Okafor Christopher from Enugu state, Mr. Obinna Ekujereonye representing National Association of the Blind, Mrs. Theresa from IPAS, Mrs. Nike Akinola from Network of women with disabilities, Mr. Lawrence Idemudia Edeifo from Nigeria National Association of the Deaf and Theophilus Odaudu from Disability Rights Fund.
The facilitators spoke about goals, objectives and expected output of the meeting and what to be reviewed and the guide on how they would be done by the stakeholders. The expected output of the meeting was reviewed strategic plan, activity framework and cost, Package of baseline and targets against main and cross-cutting strategies and collated additional feedback.
The Director, Family Health of FMOH, Dr. Christopher Ugboko in his opening remark acknowledge the presence of the participants from different states. He appreciated DRAC, CBM and others for their support in the formulation of the policy and he highlighted the process of the developing the policy document which was put together in 2015 by DRAC and FMOH. He regretted that even though that the sexual and reproductive Health Rights has been improved and the maternal mortality has been reduced, Women and Girls with Disabilities are still be neglected in all these, they are denied of their rights and they are being assaulted. Therefore, there is an urgent need to address the issue and put modality on ground to ensure the protection of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities. He went on and gave the overview of the policy from The head of GASHE.
The meeting was characterized with group work and presentations whereby a group of 7 worked on different strategies of the policy, reviewed and make corrections where necessary. The groups worked on the activity framework, the indicators, and the costing of the activities within the implementation of the policy.
The group work at every step of the presentation was discussed and questions asked, corrections were made.
At the end of the meeting, the following as the next step of the implementation plan of the policy; Harmonization of the group(work)inputs(5th November, 2019) to be carried out by the consultant, Formation of smaller group to review the harmonized framework document(2nd week of November, 2019) to be carried out by FMOH/DRAC, Final validation meeting(2nd week of December, 2019) to be carried out by FMOH/DRAC, Final editing of the strategic framework document(January 2020) to be carried by FMOH/DRAC, Print and Dissemination(January, 2020) to be carried out by FMOH/ DRAC.
The participants of the meeting as reported by qualitative magazine were drawn from Federal Ministry of Health across the states, state ministry of health, Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs), Civil Society Organizations (CSO), Media Practitioner and Medical practitioners.