by Prudence Ijah, Abuja
Love Matters Naija has advocated for improved acccess to Sexual Reproductive Health services for young people in Nigeria.
The Country Director of Love Matters Naija, Alu Azege, who made this call in a virtual press conference to commemorate the World Contraceptive day revealed that young people are unable to access sexual Reproductive health commodities because of the stigma and lack of youth friendly centre’s.
Alu urged health professionals to suport young people by giving them the right information about Sexual and Reproductive Health.
In her words, “With many birth control options available, we urge health care providers to support young Nigerians to have access to contraceptives and the right information needed for informed decisions to be made”
“Today, we make a commitment to help Nigerian youths access information, imagine the hazards that Nigerians have been exposed to due to lack of access to sexual reproductive health information and services” Alu said.
The Country Director, however added that Love matters Naija is creating a safe space where young people can speak about their sexual and reproductive Rights without being judged or stigmatized.
“Contraceptive issues don’t usually favour young people in Nigeria. Unmarried adult most times face discrimination in the society, when it comes to sexual and reproductive health Rights and services”.
Alu disclosed that collaboration is critical in meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of young Nigerians.
“We are collaborating with the media and other organizations in this sector to ensure that the well-being of our focal group is being captured adequately”.
In the same vein, she added that the World Contraceptive day is utilized to address the issue of sexual and reproductive health from a positive perceptive.
“We believe that when the issues of sexual and reproductive health is adequately looked into, Nigeria will be a better place to live”.
The Head of Marketing and Communications, Marie Stopes International Organization Nigeria (MSION), Ogechi Onuoha, noted that the theme of this year, World Contraceptive day is , “My Contraceptive choice”.
She said that young people find it very hard making important decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health needs.
“The challenge with young people is that sexual and reproductive health is usually seen as a taboo. It is usually discussed in hush tones. Even adults are not open about their sexual right”.
According to her, Marie Stopes has been at the forefront , working with religious clerics, to sensitize their followers on the best Contraceptive methods available.
” We have a program that is going on currently, where religious leaders sensitize their members on the importance of child spacing. We reach out to the audience by giving them the right perspective about sexual and reproductive Rights.”