Ajani Bless Me (Ms.) was hosted on this edition of FPFriday. Ajani Bless-me, an unrepentant advocate of young people’s access to scientifically correct reproductive health information and services.
Life Planning young people make responsible healthy choices
1. First of all can you define family planning and life planning?
Life Planning is all about young people making responsible and healthy choices in matters related to their reproductive health including deciding freely the number of children and when to have them.
2. What are the importance of Life planning to adolescents and youths?
Young people need Life Planning to;
•Reduce unintended/unplanned pregnancies
•Reduce need for Unsafe Abortion and complication
• prevent HIV/AIDS and STIs and also to reach their maximum potentials
3. Who are the stakeholders responsible towards life planning for Adolescents and youths and what roles do they all have to play?
Government need to intentionally plan for young people, law and policy makers must make the policies that grants 15-17 years old access to contraceptives services, Parents must have sex and pregnancy discussions with their wards Life Planning is all about young people making responsible and healthy choices – Ajani Bless Me
4. Do Adolescents have the right to demand for family planning services without the consent of their parents?
According to the existing policies adolescents less than 18 can access family planning services only with parental/guardian consent.
5. How do we begin sensitize parents towards the importance of life planning to adolescents and youths?
One way that has proven to work is Storytelling, experience sharing and Statistics. Telling them about dangers of abortion and its complications, effects of unplanned pregnancy/child on their daughter and the financial implications for them
6. Can you tell us about the statistics of abortion among target groups and will life planning help to reduce the maternal mortality?
In Nigeria Adolescent accounts for up to 74% of all induced abortions (WHO). Life Planning/ contraception is very key in reducing maternal mortality as it increases life expectancy
7. Its International day to end obstetric fistula by May 23rd, can Life planning/Family planning be a key strategy to address the issue of Fistula among child brides in Nigeria?
Government must implement policies that will favour and protect the sexual health and rights of young people. If adolescents are empowered with knowledge and given access to contraceptives to delay child conception till their body is fully developed for child bearing, there will surely be minimal or zero case of Fistula
8. What category of young people need information on SRHR/ Contraceptives?
All young people need SRHR/contraceptives information both sexually active and non-sexually active; living with disabilities; living in rural and urban communities; married and Single
9. What are the essential life skills needed by young people to make informed SRHR/Life planning decisions?
Young people need to be assertive in demanding for SRHR, have negotiation skills, have a shared vision, and have a life goal to make life planning decisions. Young people must be ready to be responsible for their sexual actions
10. Where can young people get Reproductive Health/ Life Planning information in the community?
Primary Health Care centres and youth friendly Centre
Anchor: Blecyn George Monsi