#Education

Stakeholders harp SRH education for adolescents

By Boluwatife Akinola

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Public health experts and advocates have emphasized the relevance of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education for adolescents.

The stakeholders stressed that more than before, adolescents need to be sensitized and educated in making informed SRH decisions that will guarantee a secure future for them.

Speaking at an SRH sensitisation programme of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria (MWFAAN) at CAC Grammar School Akure, they called on families and institutions not to shy away from educating adolescents on sexual and reproductive health.

 The Publicity Secretary of MWFAAN, Dr Chioma Nwakanma-Akanmo, said that teenagers must understand and respect their bodies and those of others.

 Dr Nwakanma-Akanmo also sensitised the female adolescents on menstruation, advocating support for young girls when they are in their menstrual cycle.

 The public health expert advised students who have been exposed to sexual activities to go to the clinic to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

She harped on the need for adolescents to maintain good personal hygiene.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer of Kids and Teens Resource Centre, Martin-Mary Falana, who conducted a comprehensive session on SRH for the students, enlightened them on refusal skills, negotiation skills, self-esteem, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, and gender violence, said adolescents need to speak out against any form of violence.

The public health expert emphasized the need for students to assert control over their bodies, urging them to remain steadfast in achieving their future goals and avoid any form of distractions.

While identifying that adolescents faced issues such as unplanned pregnancy, sexual violence, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, human trafficking, early marriage and other challenges, the SRHR advocate emphasized that students must be empowered to make informed decisions.

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 Falana stressed the need to protect adolescents with comprehensive education, investment in high-quality youth-friendly health services and combat stigma that stands as a barrier to healthcare.

 He also advocated improved parent-child education, involving young people in programme planning and implementation, provision of youth-friendly services, creation of a safe environment and building media capacity to disseminate age-appropriate information.

The MWFAAN State Coordinator, Saheed Ibrahim said adolescents’ priority must be given to the education and sensitisation of young people about their SRHR.

The school counsellor, Mrs. Mary Arogunjo, stressed the importance of virtue and encouraged students to develop a mindset focused on achieving their aspirations in life.

She emphasized the significance of speaking out about any challenges or harassment they face, advising them to gather evidence, such as video or voice recordings, to support their claims.

The counsellor urged students not to handle their problems alone but to seek assistance from the appropriate authorities.

Arogunjo highlighted the relevance of educating adolescents about sexual and reproductive health.

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Stakeholders harp SRH education for adolescents

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