... Calls For More Partnership Between Media, CSOs To Achieve Set Goals
In an effort to achieve the 2030 Commitments, a special appeal has gone to all stakeholders, most especially the media and Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, to ensure full implementation of age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive Comprehensive Sexuality Education, CSE, protect adolescents from sexual violence, discrimination and harmful practices.
This appeal came recently from the chairman, Nigeria Technical Working Group of the FP2030 and Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, Nigeria, AAFPN, Dr. Ejike Oji at a webinar, one of the first in a series of conversations on FP2030 commitments.
He called for more collaboration and partnership among the various media outlets and the CSOs specifically aimed at ensuring that governments at all levels address issues regarding family planning, implement better support systems for
pregnant adolescents and adolescent
parents, strengthen family relationships, build
a caring and nurturing community, implement family development programs, especially those
geared towards men as well as support more researches and improving available data on adolescent pregnancy and its determinants.
He emphasized the need to ensure that governments at all levels focus more attention to and channel more resources to family planning programs as recent reviews showed that some women groups, young people and civil society organisations at sub-national levels were not adequately carried along.
He also identified media groups and interfaith religious groups as being very important and powerful in passing the message across to the target audience.
Also, Dr Oji dwelt so much on the new elements of the FP2030 Commitment Guidance Toolkit taking participants through the resources available to inform the development of commitments, identified gaps and the way out.
The webinar featured speakers from the youth group represented by Blessme Ajani, Dr Emmanuel Adigbe of FP CAPE among others.
It was noted that though there’s improvement in service delivery with 20% uptake, there’s still need for more women-demand driven initiatives in family planning matters.
“We must ensure that voices of women and youths are heard regarding their intentions. And we need more qualitative data to achieve the desired results. “
In addition, Dr Adigbe called for adequate tracking of demand generations and stock outs taking. “Places of access by women should be properly marked out, all vital data must be available, the green dots in various states must be well publicized as well as information about the family planning providers. “
Blessme Ajani called for a more Youth-Friendly environment, use of language that’s appropriate, focus on out of school girls who are more vulnerable and review of school curriculum in order to accommodate new trends in modern day learnings.
She reiterated the need to fully implement age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive Comprehensive Sexuality Education, CSE, scaling up of adolescent-friendly health services, encouraging genuine participation of adolescents in the development of policies and programs, guaranteeing that all adolescents complete school, especially girls, ensuring that adolescents have decent and competitive economic opportunities after school completion as well as protecting adolescents from sexual violence, discrimination and harmful practices.
Speaking further, Dr Oji articulated the value of making an FP2030 commitment and the need to provide best practices to strengthen the
ownership and content of commitments as well as recommendations to foster and strengthen accountability.
“Strong focus on inclusion, transparency and accountability within the commitments process for all governments, as well as donors and other partners is very key.”
“Some of the very important questions we should be asking as to do we domestic financing; how do we sustain this locally? How prepared are we in terms of emergency preparedness, response, and
resilience, postpartum family planning, postabortion family planning, immunization integration, supply chain strengthening as well as involvement of our youth and adolescents?”
Also, ministries of Health and Education must collaborate for FP2030 commitments to materialise.
Hence, Dr Oji made reference to the importance of physical, mental, and social well-being of adolescents while the promotion of their rights, protection, and safety requires multi-sectoral
action toward a free, empowered, and harmonious society.
“The issue of adolescent pregnancy is most urgent given its impact on individuals, families, communities, and the nation. The persistently high numbers of adolescent pregnancies connect the
health, education, and economic development; hence, the importance of addressing all three areas.”
In conclusion, all stakeholders agreed on supporting more researches and improving
available data on unwanted pregnancies and
its determinants as well as maximizing various media platforms to communicate key messages to generate multi-stakeholder engagement to accelerate reduction of unwanted pregnancies in our nation.