65 Per Cent of all Abortion Cases in Nigeria Occur in Youths – NURHI
The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) has called for increased sexual education among youths and adolescents, saying there has been an increase in reported cases of sexual violence, intimate sexual relations and family incest.
At the opening of a two-day workshop on Strategic review and Succession Planning in Ibadan by the Advocacy Network of Nigeria, Team Leader, Oyo State Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), Mrs Stella Akinso said youths and adolescents are becoming sexually active and with enormous consequences.
“So many youths now start having sex at age eight in Nigeria.
“Young people are increasingly faced with sexual challenges and about 65 per cent of all abortion cases in Nigeria now occur in young people”.
She therefore called for increased sexual education among youths and adolescents. She said that meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people was important for Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
“NURHI has taken up the challenge of empowering young persons to be able to determine whether they want to have sex or abstain from it and if they want to have sex, be well informed on how to have safe sex.
“The intervention just started based on end line research on our NURHI phase 1 project. We are dealing with women of reproductive age group,” she said.
NURHI’s Youth Programme Officer, Mrs Sola Fanimokun said it was shocking to know that while 55 per cent of Nigeria’s population are youths less than 20 years, 48 per cent of males and 56 per cent females in this age range are sexually active.
She decried parents not providing sexual education to their children. She also harped on the unavailability of youth friendly health centres, stressing that myths on sexuality still abound among youths.
According to Mrs Fanimokun, lack of reproductive and family planning information is a major problem of youths adding that more youths are been influenced into sex by their peers, parents, religious leaders and media.
She said parents and religious leaders must use their capacities to talk to youths on sexuality and their health, adding “we are not saying that youths should be having sex, but they need to focus on helping them to understand their sexuality and how to cope.”