On a visit to Lagos State Ms Laura Boldrini, president of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, has stressed the need for adolescent girls to have the right information about their sexual and reproductive health.
She met with adolescent girls in Makoko community on a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supported project called “Expanding Access of Slum Dwelling Out-of-School Girls to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Family Planning”.
Boldrini said the information was necessary to enable the girls to make the right decision on when and how many children they wished to have. “This is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent girls,” she said.
UNFPA Nigeria spokesperson Lolade Johnson said the project aimed to educate out-of-school girls on their sexuality and reproductive health. The project also trains the girls in vocational skills such as tailoring, bead making, make-up and catering so they are economically empowered to fulfil their potentials.
“About 300 girls aged 17 to 19 have benefitted from this programme; the girls are agents of change and peer educators in their communities. The girls have also collectively reached out to about 20,000 girls with non-prescriptive contraceptives and reproductive health information,” Johnson said.
UNFPA’s reproductive maternal health advisor Dr Sabrina Pestilli said the long term solution to sexual reproductive health was offering girls basic education.
“What the country needs is that the education is provided in schools, the basics for every boy and girl of the country.
“There is a curriculum that the country’s educational system has, maybe it should be revitalised. This is how we can reach a number of boys and girls that can make a difference,” Pestilli said.