Security of commodities is panacea for achieving SDGs

Brussels, Belgium- Mr John Skibiak, Director of Reproductive Health Coalition (RHSC) has called for the need to ensure the security of commodities required to achieve safe reproductive health for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said advancing the security space of supplies, commodities would guarantee the safety of reproductive and maternal health products to stem the needless deaths at the point of giving birth.

Mr Skibiak, was delivering an address at the opening of the 18th Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition General meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

The conference themed, “Pour Elle” (For Her), is a congregation of over 450 multi-sectoral agencies aimed to improve on access and affordability of reproductive and maternal health commodities globally and to again take stock of its activities.

The Director said though several advances were chalked in the commodity security space, some 220 million women, who wanted to avoid pregnancy were and not using any family planning method were susceptible to many unsafe abortions leading to deaths.

He said the Coalition succeeded in breaking down the supplies barriers and narrowing on the commodity space, which has culminated into cheaper prices of products in recent times.

He announced that representatives from more than 60 government, private companies and Foundations have pledged at least $ 2.5 Billion to expand access to family planning commodities worldwide.

Other successes, Mr Skibiak said included a new product, Global Family Planning VAN ( Visibility Analytics Network) would offer a platform to collectively estimate and prioritise supply needs, take action when supply imbalances looms and advocate for funding when necessary.

He said a supplies fellows’ scheme has been established by practicing professionals to woo young people at that level to sustain good exploits.

The Director expressed regretted that not all Coalition countries in need found themselves in a position to benefit from these advances.

“We have always been Coalition of willing and partnership based on trust, mutual respect and shared vision.”

He urged all to recommit to saving the future of the Coalition and reproductive and maternal health commodities.

Mr Alassane Mbengue, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health and Social Justice of Senegal, said access to quality reproductive and maternal commodities had been shored up due to firmer regulatory and monitoring strategies deployed by their government.

He said their prudent management of national supplies had seen the Senegalese contraceptive prevalence rate shot up to 23 percent in 2016 from 12 percent it recorded in 1992.

Mr Mbengue said government would continue to boost quality supplies and work on its failures towards reducing systemic failures.

He pointed out that collaboration among major actors including public and private sector activists in the procurement, storage and distribution chains in the up and downstream sectors of their economy adds to the sustainability and growth of supplies commodities at points it was most needed.

The Secretary-General envisaged that the partnership with RHSC and increased investment held the ultimate success of saving lives at the point of birth.

Source: Ghana News Agency