The United Nations Population Fund Youth Participatory Platform (UNFPA-YPP) has organised a One-day Community Forum for young girls and women to orientate them on sexual reproductive health information and services.
The event held at Abesan Youth Center, Alimosho in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, was targeted at tackling the obstacles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which the young girls and women in marginalized societies might encounter while accessing life-saving information on sexual reproduction health and services.
The UNFPA Youth Participatory Platform Coordinator, Elizabeth Williams advocated for further provision of information relating to sexual reproductive health for girls and young women to enable self-protection from the women.
She said, “Young people have the ability to contribute to society only when they can fulfil their true potential. When girls and young women have information on their sexual reproductive health, they would be able to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections including HIV. It is our responsibility as a country to continue to provide this knowledge to girls wherever they are even in marginalized communities”.
She disclosed that about 100 adolescent girls and young women were reached from different wards in Alimosho Local Government Area, adding that the programme was divided into two sessions. The first session focused on preventive messaging on COVID19 where the girls were taught ways to prevent the spread and contracting of the coronavirus.
The second session was interactive, during which the girls were given a talk on the prevention of pregnancy. They were taught the different contraceptive options available including abstinence while dispelling the myths and misconceptions on contraceptive use. Also, dignity kits consisting of sanitary items such as menstrual pads and hand sanitisers were distributed to all the girls.
The secretary of Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area Community Development Committee, Mr Olufemo Ojo praised the event organisers and encouraged the future organisation of valuable programmes in the community. He believed that this will boost the struggle against teenage pregnancy.
In his words, “We must continue to provide young girls with information that empowers them to make informed decisions regarding their health and wellbeing. We need to ensure the rate of teenage pregnancy drops in the community. This program helps do that and we welcome more of such programs in the community”.
Also speaking, Dr Amaka Haruna explained that the choice of Alimosho for the programme was because it is the largest local government in Lagos with not many interventions implemented. Dr Amaka said the programme aims to empower every participant with life-saving information to enable them to achieve their full potential in line with the UNFPA mandate.
The UNFPA Youth Participatory Platform is the UNFPA youth group of young person’s promoting the organization’s mandate in South-Western Nigeria. It serves as an interface between UNFPA and young people.
The Youth Platform was established in 2015 to liaise with the State Programme Office to develop programmes that tackle the identified concerns of communities as well as to support the UNFPA Office with consultations and drafting implementation reports. Over the years, UNFPA YPP has continuously advocated and educated local youth about the UNFPA mandate.