“Having access to drugs that could save lives should not be a matter of charity, but a human right,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Minister of State of Health for Nigeria, the Honourable. Alhaji Mohammad Pate during the 19th African Union Summit, Dr. Osotimehin said that access to a reliable supply of medicines, equipment and contraceptives is critical to saving and improving lives. He emphasized the urgent need to address the barriers preventing women and children from accessing commodities that could save and improve their lives. This requires integrated efforts, coordinated action and complementary work by all partners, he said.
Toward this end, the UN Commission on Life-Saving commodities for Women and Children was established by the UN Secretary-General earlier this year. The Commission is part of the Every Woman, Every Child initiative to save the lives of 16 million women and children and improve the lives of millions more.
Speaking on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, the Co-chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Pate said, “If we give essential drugs at the right time and right place, we shall prevent women from dying from pregnancy-related causes and childbirth complications.”