By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Population and Reproductive Health Initiative (PRHI) a Kaduna-based NGO, on Thursday advocated for the adoption of policy on adolescent sexual and Reproductive health in the state.
Founding member of the organization, Prof. Clara Ejembi said during a partner meeting with the media in Kaduna.
The meeting was aimed to gain desired visibility and joint action from different sectors towards development of a policy on adolescent sexual and Reproductive health.
Ejembi said there’s need for the adoption of policy on adolescent sexual and Reproductive health in the state as it will help to empower vulnerable girls delay child marriage and prevent adolescent pregnancy.
She said there is a document for the adolescent sexual and Reproductive health but it is not operational and urged the State Government to adopt it as it will help build awareness about the lack of adequate policies protecting adolescent with respect of thier sexual and reproductive health.
This will ensure government closes the gap in the implementation of the 2010 National Reproductive Health Policy on healthy sexual development and sexuality of adolescent girls.
” Adolescent period is very important because it is a transition period from being dependent to independent.
” It is a period of sexual maturation and a period of heightened vulnerability, period of experiment.
She said consequences can be enormous if they don’t get education.
According to her, the 2018 NDHS shows that transactional sex is high in kaduna,median age of first marriage is 19.1 ranging from 15-9 years .
She added that lack of awareness, cultural value, limited access to relevant reproductive health services are factors associated with adolescent.
She called on the state government to create a budget line, provide services and implement the curriculum of life savings skills for students.
Also speaking, Rise up fellow,Khadija Abdulkarim said the advocacy is a Rise up project with support from Rise up Nigeria.
” The project seeks to advocate for the adaption of the policy with focus on adolescent in Kaduna State.
” The project also seek atmosphere for the development of sustainable program and intervention for meeting needs of adolescent in the state.
According to her, the project is aimed to build awareness about the lack of adequate policies protecting adolescent with respect to their sexual and Reproductive health and the need for one.
” It is to strengthen engagement and collaboration with state government to approve a policy on adolescent sexual and Reproductive health by June 2020.