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February 27, 2024
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Dignitaries at the investiture of Mrs Marilyn Okowa-Daramola, Member representing Ika North East constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, as Delta State Family Planning Ambassador on Monday in Asaba

Contraception Day: Okowa-Daramola advocates women empowerment to make right choices

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By Ifeanyi Olannye
Mrs Marilyn Okowa-Daramola, Member representing Ika North East Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, has advocated women empowerment to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
Okowa-Daramola made made the call in her acceptance speech after she was being conferred with the award of  “Delta Family Planning  Ambassador” by the Family Planning team of the State Ministry of Health and its associates on Monday in Asaba.
She pledged her resolve to support the team to ensure the state government improved its budgetary provision  and advocacy for family planning to ensure the success of the programme in the state.
Okowa-Daramola, who served with the immediate past administration had during her service delivery mandate, championed the course of women and girl child empowerment in the state.
According to her, family planning is a fundamental human right not an option.
She pledged to work with the partners and associates to breakdown all barriers against women and girl child as regards family planning matter in the state.
She noted that family planning was a pathway to gender equality, economic stability, improved healthcare outcomes and cornerstone of a brighter and more prosperous future for Delta.
The lawmaker said that the target goal was to break down the cultural barriers and stigma associated with family
planning.
According to her, it will also ensure that every woman and girl in the state has the knowledge and resources to make informed choices about their reproductive health.
 “I stand before you today with immense gratitude and a deep sense of responsibility as I accept the role of Family Planning Ambassador for Delta State.
“I want to thank the ministry of health and family planning partners and advocates, who have placed their trust in me to champion this vital cause.
“It is an honour to be given this opportunity to further contribute to the well-being of women and girls in our dear state.
“Family planning is not just a matter of reproductive health, it is a fundamental
human right.
” It is the key to empowering women and girls to make informed choices about their bodies, their futures, and their families,” she said.
She noted the World Contraception Day, being celebrated every Sept. 26, would serve as global reminder of the critical importance of access to family planning services.
“It is a day to celebrate choice, education, and the fundamental right of every individual to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
“” We will work tirelessly to promote awareness, advocate for access by engaging with policymakers, healthcare providers, and community leaders to ensure that family planning services are readily available and affordable to all, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
“We shall challenge stigmas, harmful stereotypes surrounding family planning and create safe spaces for open dialogue and provide accurate information to dispel myths.
“We shall empower women and girls with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed decisions about their
reproductive health; engage men and boys as family planning must be a collective effort,” Okowa-Daramola said.
On his part, Dr Christian Tetsola, Director, Public Health, Delta Ministry of Health, while conferring the award on Okowa-Daramola, said her role in women and girl child empowerment informed the investiture as the FP ambassador.
“We are here as part of the event to mark the veneration of the World Contraception  Day for 2023.
” And today, we confer on Okowa-Daramola, the title of Family Planning Ambassador and by extension, Reproductive Health Ambassador.
“She has been an advocate for the girl child and reproductive issue also mainly to do with women, though men are included,” he said.
Tetsola said that the ministry had outlined its programmes to mark the year’s World Contraception Day with a road walk to advocate for family planning in the state capital, Asaba.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in attendance were team of experts in the reproductive and family planning units of the state ministry of health, representatives of World Health Organisation; Marie Stopes; Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), Abuja, FCT. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng).
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Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Isaac Aregbesola
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