.... Let’s Scale-Up, Prioritize Girls’ SRH – Ogungbenro
Mr. Tunde Ogungbenro, Regional Manager, A360 Project with Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni during the event.
Despite the rise in Covid-19 cases in Oyo State and the nation generally, the demand for basic needs of live and health services increases as lockdown does not lock sexual activities and its attendant effects among the young and old.
This was made known by the Executive Secretary of Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, OYSPHCB, Dr. Muyideen Babatunde Olatunji during a media roundtable by OYSPHCB in collaboration with the state’s COVID-19 Task Force and Society for Family Health, SFH, in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Speaking on the theme; “Meeting Adolescents and Young People’s Sexual Reproductive Health Needs during COVID-19″, Dr. Olatunji reiterated the readiness of OYSPHCB to increase services to ensure quality of lives of young population in Oyo State through existing facilities and networks.
“We have done some trainings on COVID-19 on Preparedness and Response to COVID-19 across the 33 LGAs. 1,380 Health Facilities were selected for the training while 2,760 Health Workers and 3,500 Community Volunteers were trained. We also did distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the 33 LGAs.”
According to him, the agency carried out capacity building for 33 LGA Health Educators on Risk Communication and Community Engagement for Covid-19 while some identified Gate Keepers were trained on COVID-19.
Also speaking at the event, the Regional Manager, SFH’s A360 Project, Mr. Tunde Ogungbenro called on all stakeholders to work seriously towards meeting the Sexual Reproductive Health, SRH, needs of adolescents more importantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With our A360 project, adolescents are offered life building skills, sexual and reproductive health services and counselling as well as provision of youth-friendly health services to build confidence and self-esteem of adolescents.”
Ogungbenro stated that there is a lot of stigma when girls seek sexual health care because they are perceived as promiscuous, so they would rather hide.
“Unintended pregnancies often end the dreams and goals of most girls. When a girl gives birth, she often drops out of school, doesn’t receive support from the baby’s father and his family, and may be kicked out by her parents. The Plight of the adolescent girl today is enormous”
He therefore 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 journey and empower them to work towards the future they envision.”
Oyo State government said it had reached no less than 13,561 girls in Akinyele and Ibadan North-East local government areas with sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information during the COVID-19 pandemic, since February.
In her speech, Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni commended SFH and other organisations working towards achieving quality, affordable and accessible sexual reproductive health services for young adolescents and urged the public to let all hands be on deck to end all forms of gender based violence.
“We should stop the blame game and making rape victims feel it’s as a result of their fault that they were raped. Gender-based violence is a scourge we must all do our best to put an end to. And for us as a state, a lot of efforts are being put in place to ensure a stop to the menace.”