Breadcrumb

As a young boy growing up in Benin City, Nigeria. I had a best friend who was also my classmate and sat next to me at secondary school. Her name was Martha, Martha was the brightest in our class she exceled at Science subjects mainly biology, physics and chemistry. She always shared her dream of becoming a scientist and discovering the cure for HIV/AIDS. We were in our third year in secondary school, Martha was 14 going on 15 in few months’ time. I came to school one morning to see her obituary poster pasted at our school notice board, my best friend Martha had died, while procuring unsafe abortion. This and more are stories of how young girls lose their lives due to lack of access to Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) education and services.

According to the Guttmacher institute Nigeria, approximately 95 girls lose their lives daily to unsafe abortion. If my friend had access to a comprehensive education on sexuality in school, she would have had adequate knowledge to delay her sexual debut or knowledge of modern contraceptive methods. I believe this would have prevented an unwanted pregnancy and subsequently unsafe abortion which ended her young and promising life.

Deaths resulting from unsafe abortion is one of the myriads of problem that stem from a lack of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and education for women and girls in Nigeria. Another consequence of a lack of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health service is the ever high prevalence of HIV amongst Nigeria’s young people aged 15-30. 55% of those affected are young women and girls (various articles suggest HIV is sexist).

As a young man who is deeply passionate and strongly driven about increasing women and girls access to sexual and reproductive health and rights education and services, my main focus is on access to contraception services devoid of stigma, judgement or discrimination of any sort. My main emphasis is on undeserved youths, marginalized community of young people and discriminated against adolescents.

 

I have worked as a youth volunteer for the past 5 years with the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), a leading organization in the SRHR/Family planning (FP) space in Nigeria. I was involved in research that served as evidence base for program implementation tailored to increase young people’s access and uptake of SRHR/FP services and education in Nigeria. I currently work as a program officer for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) with the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, Edo State Office. Through this organization, I have been able to reach over 2000 in and out of school youths with CSE which have increased their knowledge and uptake of modern contraceptive methods. I strongly believe that improving young people’s access to comprehensive SRHR education and services for women and girls is essential to reaching the SDGs in Nigeria.

 

More on Offor: http://youngleadersfordev.org/author/offor-hope/

One comment

  1. Dr Petronilla Ù Akpan

    My boy ride on. The sky is your in only your dash board ! Talking about adolecent sexuality education a lot is going on on different platforms by Ngos, schools and families. Medical womens association of Negeria is doing a lot about this and even the issue of rape. A lot is being done by regious bodies as you know to delay the on set of sexual activities but have they succeeded? The odds are great. The permissiveness of our societies, all the things going on on television and media are warring against good morals successfully. The big unanswered question is when to introduce contraceptive use to the young adolescents. Like Martha your friend 14 was early to talk about abortion. If parents could show more love and understanding to accommodate young girls who fall prey to unplanned pregnancy may be they will not think of abortion safe or unsafe.
    I have an Ngo LIVING LIFE RIGHT FOUNDATION which also advocate and educate young people on sexuality.
    There’s a lot to talk about.
    Soar on and be blessed.

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