By Jovitta Iorshase
The Coordinator, Novel Association for Youth Advocacy (NAYA), Benue State Chapter, Mrs Sarah Ingbian, has charged the state government and stakeholders to take responsibility of the sexual reproductive health of adolescents seriously.
She gave the charge at a one-day NAYA chat/dissemination meeting with media practitioners recently with support from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) held at the National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS and Population Development (NYNETHA) office in Makurdi.
Mrs Ingbian disclosed that women have been the worst hit in the adolescent reproductive health challenges and advocated for a budget line reasonable enough to handle the peculiar health issues of the youths like sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy and incorrect use of family planning methods.
“Without productive health, women in our nation the nation will be a failure with conflicts in our families.”
“Most healthcare providers are trained generally on family planning not on youth friendly health services or youth friendly caregivers and as such do not handle the adolescents well. That is why a budget line should be made to integrated in all the healthcare services specifically for the adolescents’ related issues,” she explained.
“We have budgets for free immunization and anti-natal services but not for the youths who are mostly involved in active sex life and this is very dangerous if they are neglected, she concluded.
She applauded the state government through the Ministry of Health for it numerous projects in safeguarding the health of the people and appealed for more attention for the youths’ restiveness as well as called on the media to aide in projecting the uniqueness of the youths, their challenges and strength.
Earlier in her remarks, National Coordinator of NAYA, Mrs Rosemary Adaji, encouraged the state government to establish and ensure evidence-based practices that will enhance the integration of the young people.
Also speaking, the Desk Officer, Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health, Benue State Ministry of Health and Human Services, Mr Aondowase Apinega, reminded participants that the meeting was an outcome of what started in 2019 and should be taken seriously for the sake of the future.
He advised that family planning methods like implants, cervical rings and mostly condoms are preferable for the adolescents since they provide dual protection with little side effects and do affect fertility in future.
Some media representatives and other participants commended NAYA for her efforts in giving a voice to the adolescents, a group that is neither a child nor an adult. Some suggested the need for improved friendly parents-children relationship as the first solution in reducing the rising challenges faced by the youths.
They also suggested the employment of young graduates from the Schools of Nursing Makurdi, Health Technology Agasha and Mkar into the health facilities in the state, as well as patience and delegate monitoring among others as ways of overcoming the challenges facing the youths.