NURHI launches life planning program for adolescent in Kaduna




The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative NURHI, unveils a program for adolescent and youths aimed at providing them with positive life changing information that can help them make informed choices about critical issues in life.

The program, which is the first of its kind in Kaduna by NURHI, will provide a facility for young people to access counselling on issues affecting their lives.

Speaking with newsmen in Kaduna, the program officer at NURHI, Aisha Salihu Waziri explained that, Life Planning for Adolescents and Youths, LPAY, is expected to address the complexities around the lives of adolescents and youths; stressing the need for them to be given accurate and adequate information on life skills including negotiation skills, self esteem and communication skills among others.

According to her, “Adolescents and Youth program is focusing on increasing demand for childbirth spacing knowledge amongst married young persons and promoting sexual responsibility (life planning) amongst them to ensure they make informed decisions about their reproductive health”.

“Kaduna state has a population of 7.8million out of which 3.2 are youths. According to the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), 42.2percent of young people are sexually active in the state while 54.2 percent of girls aged 15-19 have had sex before the age of 20. LPAY therefore integrates a deliberate and innovative focus on adolescents and youth (aged 15-24) in its strategic approach responding to the needs and increase demand for reproductive health information and services among young people”.

Aisha further stated that, life planning skills is about ensuring that girls that are married off before the age of 18 deliver safely and space their birth to help them reach their maximum potentials in life and also their overall wellbeing.

“It is also about ensuring every girl hawking on the street knows how to protect herself against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy among others,” she stressed.

In an opinion sampled by Voice of Nigeria on LPAY, Zarah Mohammed said, the program would help young people live a better life when provided with the necessary tools to guide their lives, ” parents need to also realise the challenges we experience sometimes from childhood to adulthood, the transition can be misleading especially when you have nobody to guide you”.

Another youth, Samuel Zamani, expressed enthusiasm about the program, saying it will help young people in making right decisions.

“These days, most of us rely on our friends or the social media for a lot of information regarding our lives but if we will have people to counsel us just like we use to have the guidance and counselling unit in secondary schools, we will have success stories to tell in future”, Zamani noted.

Aisha said, young people experience maturity at different stages which often affects their emotional, physical, social and psychology well being which may lead them to making uninformed decisions.

The program therefore is expected to involve parents, government, traditional and religious leaders in advocating a better life for young people in the State.

World Population Day: Media tasked with Family Planning awareness



As part of activities to celebrate the
World Population Day, journalist have been tasked to educate and enlighten people on the significance of family planning which is also sacrosanct to National development.
The Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Agency, Doctor Hadiza Balarabe made the call at the annual media forum to comemorate the World population day in Kaduna.
The annual media meeting which is part of activities of the Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, NURHI with the support of Development Communication, DEVCOMS was to celebrate the day with emphasis and attribution to family planning activities.
Doctor Hadiza said the theme for this year’s celebration is unique, timely and apt, ‘family planning is a human right’, saying, “World Population Day is about countering any notion of population control to ensure that future generations never take a hard-won human right for granted, and also strengthen the global rights and development frameworks that supports it”.
She recalled that, Fifty years ago, the United Nations International Conference on Human Rights resolved in the Proclamation of Teheran of 13 May 1968 that “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children. Family planning was, therefore, a human right for couples to exercise, not population control to be imposed by the State”.
Represented by the Director, Primary Healthcare Services, Kaduna State, Doctor Iliyasu Neyu, she noted that, despite tremendous progress since 1968, hundreds of millions of women, men and young people are unable to exercise the right to plan their families, with about 214 million women still lacking modern contraceptives.
The Doctor called on journalist to enlighten people on the rights-based approach to family planning which treats individuals as full human beings in their own right, as active agents and not as passive beneficiaries.
“This approach is built upon the explicit identification of rights-holders (individuals) and the duty-bearers (governments and others) that are responsible for delivering on rights. Today, family planning is widely accepted as a foundation for a range of rights”, she stressed.
“Access to voluntary family planning enables women to space their births, benefiting both mothers’ and children’s health. Family planning also reduces the risk of death and disability from pregnancy and childbirth too early or too late in a woman’s reproductive life”.
Doctor Hadiza said family planning is essential to overcoming poverty, which deepens when individuals can’t choose the size of their family.
In an interview sampled amongst Kaduna residents by our correspondent on the celebration, Mrs Mary Jatau said, “A woman would be healthier and successful if she plans her family and her life. It will enable her access education, her carrier and contribute meaningfully to her family and the Nation at large”.
Another resident, Rabi Musa said, “Although i have five children, I was able to space them because my first child is 19 while the last is 3. Am a working class mother who has made informed decision with the support of my husband. Am also an advocate of family planning who believe that women are entitled to the rights of spacing their children “.
Report indicates that, women who have fewer risky births, healthier pregnancies and safer deliveries face lower risks of death and improved overall health.
Their babies are born healthier and their children’s health is better early in life.
These improvements in health produce an array of economic benefits: greater investments in schooling, greater productivity, greater labour force participation and, eventually, increased income, savings, investment and asset accumulation.