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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Access to FP: Adolescent, youth face wide range of barriers - NaijaAgroNet

The challenges faced by adolescents and youth in accessing family planning in Nigeria have been underscored as very wide and key demoralizing factor, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Programme Officer, Reproductive Health Family Planning at Pathfinder International Nigeria office, Izundu Kosi, gave this insight during a presentation made at 
a 3-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria for Media and Advocacy Working Group (MAWG) on Family Planning in Lagos recently.

Dwelling on “Adolescent and Youth access to Family Planning” Izundu noted that adolescents and youth face a wide range of barriers in accessing high-quality Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services.

Some of these, she outlined to include what she described as structural barriers, socio-cultural barriers, and individual barriers to name a few.

She explained to NaijaAgroNet that ‘Structural barriers’ comprised such as laws and policies requiring parental or partner consent, distance from facilities, costs of services and/or transportation.

“… Long wait times for services, inconvenient hours, lack of necessary commodities at health facilities, and lack of privacy and confidentiality,” she decried.

Izundu also said that ‘Sociocultural barriers” involve such as restrictive norms and stigma around adolescent and youth sexuality; inequitable or harmful gender norms; and discrimination and judgment of adolescents by communities, families, partners, and providers.

On the individual barriers, Izundu went on to said that these include such as young people’s limited or incorrect knowledge of SRH.

This she said, may include myths and misconceptions around contraception; limited self-efficacy and individual agency; limited ability to navigate internalized social and gender norms; and limited information about what SRH services are available and where to seek services.

Although she recognized some of the government interventions to ensure the SRH of adolescents and youth in Nigeria to include the development of various policies nad laws to advance the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youth people.

She listed some of the examples of such policies to include the “National Reproductive Health Policy and Strategy, National Adolescent Health Policy, National Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy, Family Life Health Education among others.”

Further, she pointed out that with the support of partners and other donor agencies, the government has put in place youth friendly health care centers and trained health care providers to provide youth friendly services

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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