The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has organised sexual reproductive health education for young girls in Ajeromi Local Government Area, Lagos State.
Speaking at the UNFPA Youth Participatory platform in collaboration with the Lagos State government, recently, the Reproductive Health Officer of UNFPA, Dr. Esther Somefun, said the event was part of activities to commemorate the International Youth Day among out-of-school girls.
She also stated that the education the girls had received about sexual reproductive health was aimed at helping them make informed decisions.
Somefun, said other activities which they embarked on was to teach the girls about women values, take them through menstrual hygiene and have practical demonstrations and also teach them vocational skills.
She added that the total number of girls they were focusing on was 500.
“We are looking at two communities; 300 for Ajeromi and 200 for Agege.”
Somefun, explained that they were working in collaboration with the medical officers, “who after this programme would follow up to track the girls to see the progress they are making.”
The UNFPA Reproductive Health Officer said that as part of their follow-up, they had an adolescent youth-friendly centre which had kicked off, adding that the centre would be a way of following up the girls and encouraging them to go the centre for continuous counselling, information and services.
She added, “International youth day is celebrated every year: 12 of August. But as part of the UN initiative which is to leave no one behind, we know that most young people in hard-to-reach areas are always left out in programming and that’s why we decided to embark on the initiative in this area.
“Depending on the theme that is put up for each of the programme, we have always wanted high attendance and apart from having high attendance, we have also wanted young people being sensitized, know their rights, and seek for information and service.
“The local communities helped in mobilising the young girls in the community and we provided the technical expertise with the sessions.”
In his remarks, the Baale of Dankaka, Ajeromi Local Government Area, Kareem Oluwa, said this is a platform to teach them about their future, the need to pursue their dreams in life, and how to stand out. He commended the Lagos government for this initiative.
He also advised the UNFPA to continue to train and support the girls in areas of need that they have identified; “while on the part of the girls, I want them to adhere to everything that is being taught here.”