Canada's support of health efforts in Nigeria hailed by UN population agency

Canada's support of health efforts in Nigeria hailed by UN population agency

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has welcomed the decision of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to grant 10 million Canadian dollars - about US$6.6 million - over two years to expand Fund-supported reproductive health services and HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives in Nigeria.

In a statement issued today in New York, UNFPA said the grants would enable it to upgrade and equip 900 primary health facilities in 180 of the country's local government areas and provide training in life-saving skills to some 900 midwives. The money is also meant to help increase the number of births in those counties attended by skilled personnel and to boost HIV/AIDS awareness activities.

"I most heartily welcome Canada's concrete support for Nigeria's efforts to save the lives of millions of its people by helping to ensure safe motherhood and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa's most populous country," said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid. "During my recent visit to Nigeria, I appealed to President Olusegun Obasanjo to keep his country at the front line of the struggle against HIV/AIDS. This action by Canada will enable the UNFPA to support Nigeria in such an undertaking to save millions of lives."

As part of its current effort in Nigeria, the UNFPA supports programmes in 12 states in addition to its work with the Federal Government in reproductive health, population and development strategies, as well as advocacy.