Stakeholders in the health sector has emphasized the need to sensitize young adolescents about sexual reproductive health rights in Nigeria.
The experts made the disclosure at a national webinar on International adolescent week organized by Education As a Vaccine.
Speaking at the event, Dr Chris Igboko, the Director/Head of Gender, Adolescent, and Elderly, Federal Ministry of Health, said the health policy guidelines has recomŕmended that adolescent should be given the right information on how to deal with sexual and reproductive issues from 18 years.
He added that health care services in terms of family planning and sexual and reproductive health should be available to adolescent that are up to 18 years, which is the age of access.
“Most of the sexual and reproductive challenges that adolescent face is from 15 years of age. This is very crucial to each stages of their reproductive cycle.
Statistics have shown that young adolescent need access to reproductive services “
He said the ministry of health is committed to redirecting the young adolescent regarding the challenge of access to health care services, and will not hesitate to work with credible partners.
In the same vein, Elizabeth Williams, Deputy Coordinator of AfriYAN Nigeria, said the report obtained from U- report during the pandemic period has shown that adolescent mental health should be prioritized.
According to her, the U- report has been of great benefit in analysing the state of affairs of youth in the country.
She explained that there are 3.6 million U reporters in Nigeria.
“We are calling on more young people to participate in the report so that they will be able to air their views on important issues in the polity. We want young people to make good choices and contribute meaningfully to the development of the country”.
One of the panelist, Phil Idoko, shared his experience on how he utilized the lockdown period to develop meaningful skills that will develop his potential.
” During the lockdown period, I had to re evaluate my life. I decided to enrol in some online classes that improve my understanding. I was also able to meet with youth from different walks of life”.
The international Adolescent Health week is celebrated in the third week of March every year.
This year’s theme is ” Adolescent resilience in the face of the pandemic “.