HACEY Independent Working Group Visits Ondo Health Ministry To Discuss Youth Access to SRH Information
An Independent Working Group (IWG) formed by HACEY Health Initiative has visited the Ondo state Ministry of Health to discuss ways to improve youth’s access to sexual and reproductive health information.
HACEY Health Initiative, a leading development organisation focused on improving the health and productivity of the vulnerable and under-served population in Africa formed the group and tasked them with the role of advocating for improved access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) information and services for young people.
The Independent Working Group (IWG) is constituted of 6 students who have shown interest in increasing young people’s awareness of their sexual Health and Rights while also increasing access to youth-friendly SRH services.
The visit which took place at the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Health on Tuesday had in attendance the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Pharm. Folukemi Aladenola; Director of Family, Health and Nutrition, Dr. Isaac Aladeniyi; other key officers of the ministry and HACEY’s Youth Amplify Project Manager, Kemi Omole.
Aladenola Folukemi applauded the move by the group stating that Young People’s Sexual and Reproductive Health is an integral part of their total wellbeing and needs to be hugely prioritized.
The Permanent Secretary emphasized that it was more pertinent to encourage the spread of the news of abstinence amongst young people as this will help young people preserve their dignity.
HACEY’s Youth Amplify Project Manager, Kemi Omole stated that conservative society often frowns at sex education as it believes that this leads to increased sexual behaviour, but that sexual health education enables young people to make informed decisions regarding their sexual health and rights.
In a document shared by IWG, they stated that “SRH rights and full availability of the associated human rights are at the core of young people’s transition into adulthood and has a good likelihood of influencing their health and life outcomes and there is a mandatory need to support and uphold these rights to prevent the occurrence of its negative impact.
“Young people need to be educated, healthy, free from STIs and HIV, and not exposed to violence, unintended pregnancy or unsafe abortion regardless of their identity.
“Young people are digital natives and mostly turn to social media as a platform for interaction, connection, and access to information, it is of utmost importance to leverage this platform as a tool for disseminating accurate SRH information,” the document read.
They went on to state the importance of providing opportunities for active participation for young people to contribute, learn and explore their sexual health needs and rights. If this is not ensured the consequences for young people are almost always evident in the status of their overall health & wellbeing, education, and future work life.
HACEY selected the students and tasked them with the roles of monitoring and giving recommendations on how to improve the quality of delivery of SRH services in the state, suggest policy recommendations to the State Ministry of Health from learnings from the project, provide feedback from young people who used the services, amongst other key role bothering on Youth and their access to sexual health information.
The Youth Amplify project implemented by HACEY and funded by Amplify Change U.K is designed to increase awareness and uptake of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and products amongst young people in tertiary institutions in Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo States, Nigeria. This project seeks to leverage the power of digital media especially social media to create awareness about SRH among young people as well as inform them on available SRH services in each state and how they can access such services.
HACEY supports the ideology that every individual in the society has the right to make his or her own choice about sexual and reproductive health in fulfilling fundamental human rights obligations.