Third Nigeria Family Planning Conference: Youths Demand For Inclusion In Policy Making

Youth advocates at the 3rd Nigeria Family Planning Conference have demanded that they should be included in policy making and be allowed to plan their future since they constitute larger percentage of the sexual reproductive age.

This was made known at the Youth Plenary Session where discussants stressed that young people make up the Sexual Reproductive age and at such, should be better informed and educated on Family Planning as a way of controlling population.

Dupe Kuku, a Communication and Sexuality Researcher volunteering at the Association for productive and Family Health (ARFH), in her presentation revealed that young people though use condom as a method of contraceptive but are not well informed. She noted that young people are misinformed on condom usage, and at such, detailed and right information on contraceptive method should be disseminated to the public

Chinomso Ibe, a Youth Advocate, in her presentation, mentioned that government should build more capacity of Reproductive Health and health workers to extend Reproductive Health and Family Planning to the communities thus allowing parents to adopt it as way of knowledge building for their children and not seeing Reproductive Health as a taboo.

Opeyemi Agbaje, another discussant at the plenary session, said young people should be given opportunity to talk with their parent on sexual challenges.

Participants at the session posit that most of the clinics are not youth friendly and thus, youths rely on the internet and social media for information on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Stressing for the cultural aspect, it was mentioned that the youths should listen more to their parent and should not put their trust on information gathered on the internet.

The session also clamours for capacity building for youth advocates to break the barrier of Reproductive Health. In the same vein, participants opined that young people should be assertive and should have high self-esteem and set goals for themselves. Also, moral values should be protected and there should be improved the quality of care and access.

With the plenary session, advocates are of the opinion that policy makers and private organisations in the health sector will invest in young people and work with them as they are the future of the country.

 

Ibrahim Olalekan is a media writer and specialist. His enormous task as journalist has earned him media space in some leading online newspapers. Aside being a seasoned journalist, Olalekan has keen interest in advocacy, rural development and politics. Olalekan is a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, and can be reach via: ibrahimolalekan001@yahoo.com or +2348101988313 and @lekanpaul