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Friday, March 15, 2019

Gossipmill fear tunes Lagos youth off family planning - NaijaAgroNet

Lagos-based youths have expressed dismay over the attitude of some health care service providers, saying that the fear of becoming gossip mill tune them off family planning, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The youths, largely females, who speak with 
NaijaAgroNet under anonymity decried the attitude of some health care service providers, especially when they approach family planning centres for services or even to inquire.

They confirmed to NaijaAgroNet that in Lagos, for instance, they would not access family planning service in their immediate domain to avoid stigmatization afterwards.

Also, they noted that although Lagos State has some Hello Lagos, which is the life-planning centres for the youth, the bias evident at those centres discourages them.

The youth who spoke on the sideline of the 3-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria, told 
NaijaAgroNet they came from Ikotu, Alimosho and Agege.

They complained of being made to stand while interrogated during her visit, instead of being attended to or counselled based on their needs in the first instance.

According to one of them, 25-year old Halima and graduate of Business Admin, the service provider’s first question was on her age bracket and on learning she had three boy-friends at 25, the body language changed outside religious concerns and countenance, stressing that she was not even given an opportunity of seeing a condom or counselled properly on other options, hence she has to leave.

She alleged that her welcome was not warm as anticipated, wondering if it should have been better to have unplanned pregnant to receive required attention at family planning units of Public Healthcare Centre (PHC) despite being sexually active.

Another female youth, Helen, 22, who acknowledged being sexually active lamented that the health service provider, she accosted at the Hello Lagos Life planning centre, was visibly furious on noticing she is a Catholic, did not given her required attention and courtesy of offering her a seat or any attempt to make her to relax before supposed grilling.

Helen said that in the course of their tensed-discussion, she understood that both female and male condoms were available at the facility, but she was not given the female condom which she had demanded but a male condom was offered to her.

As said by her, she decided to take away the male condom roll-of-four because half-bread is better than none, stressing that she was concerned that at her back, she became subject of gossip.

For 20-year Ayoshe, who is a makeup artist, the PHC centre she visited was near her community and because of their prying foot-dragging responses to her questions as a teenager wanting to access family planning services, she had to switch role from personal inquiry to on errand for her mother.

She was not shown any options of family planning but told that for her to access any available service, must be during ovulation, which family planning experts, Mrs. Abiola Adekoya disagreed with, even though some pregnant women still ovulate whilst pregnant.

Adekoya, a retired nurse told NaijaAgroNet that these service providers in these cases were bad examples and opposite of what they should be, especially for these youths by counselling them and sharing available options with them and possibly allow them to make informed decision.

Mrs. Adekoya insisted that those service providers need to be trained in the right contemporary path to help the teeming youth who may come across them.

She posited that with the narratives aforementioned, these youngsters may not likely return to the centres again eventually even when they may be ready for family planning, describing it as a missed opportunities to win a soul for family planning and better equip the youth.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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