Amid COVID-19, 13,561 Girls Access Reproductive Health Services in Oyo

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Martins Ifijeh

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, not less than 13,561 girls in Akinyele and Ibadan North-east Local Government Areas of Oyo State have accessed sexual and reproductive health information.

Speaking at a media roundtable organised recently by the Oyo State Primary Health Care Board (OYSPHCB), in collaboration with State COVID-19 Task Force, with support from Society for Family Health in Ibadan, the Executive Secretary, OYSPHCB, Dr. Muideen Olatunji said 4,106 girls have also gained access to SRH facilities since the state started reporting COVID-19 in March.

“No fewer than 2,977 girls have also accessed contraceptives while 151 were treated for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI).
With the theme: “Meeting Adolescents and Young People’s Sexual Reproductive Health Needs during COVID-19” he said despite the rise in COVID-19 pandemic in the state, the demand for basic needs of life and health services have remain on the increase.

He said: “Lock down does not lock sexual activities and its attendant effects among the young and old. We are poised to increase services to ensure quality of lives of young population in Oyo state through our existing facilities and networks.”

Other intervention by the Board, Dr. Olatunji further disclosed include :distribution of Vitamin A (Red and Blue) to 657 Health Facilities across the 33 LGAs in the state; commencement of food demonstration in 12 pilot ARIN-support centres; capacity building for 33 LGA Health Educators on Risk Communication and Community Engagement for Covid-19; training of identified Gate Keepers on COVID-19; LGA level training on COVID-19 on Preparedness and Response to COVID-19 across the 33 LGAs and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the 33 LGAs.

In his presentation, the Regional Manager, SFH’s A360 Project, Mr Tunde Ogungbenro said that meeting the SRH needs of adolescents became more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He disclosed that the A360 project, which commenced intervention in September 2017, is designed to meet the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) needs of adolescent girls aged 15-19, using Human Centered design and youth engagement approach.

Now being implemented in two LGAs – Ibadan North East and Akinyele – the project operates in 6 Hub facilities and 12 spokes facilities, he disclosed.

“Youth-friendly Health services build confidence and esteem of adolescent and increase access to primary health centres in the communities of implementation,” he noted, adding that the facilities also ensure the application of human-centred design in providing health services, provision of verified data into digital applications such as the DHIS2 while increasing digital knowledge to work during the pandemic.

A360 Young designer, Seun Taylor narrated the plight of adolescent girls in the country and called on the state government “to scale up and prioritize protecting and improving Adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health. This will mitigate some of the barriers they face on their journeys, and empower them to work towards the futures they envision.”