Hope for the Village Child, a Kaduna-based Non-Governmental Organisation, says it is training 100 adolescent girls in sexual and reproductive health, to prevent them from taking risky sexual behaviours.
The Coordinator, Ruth Barrera, made this known during a round-table discussion with the participants in Kaduna on Thursday.
She said that the aim was to insulate adolescent girls from unwanted pregnancies and contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
The Coordinator noted that 21 per cent of the 900,000 adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 in Kaduna state were reported to have gotten pregnant in 2018.
Mrs Barrera said the organisation was also creating safe spaces at Local Government Health facilities for adolescent girls to access information on sexual and reproductive health.
“We want to provide appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and friendly services to young people.”
She pointed out that similar safe spaces were created for persons living with HIV and AIDS also known as “heart to heart centres”.
“This project seeks to close the gap in the implementation of the 2010 National Reproductive Health Policy on healthy sexual development and sexuality of adolescent girls by advocating for the creation of safe spaces at the local government health facilities for adolescent girls.
“In Chikun LGA of Kaduna state, incidences of unplanned pregnancies, complications during child birth, school drop outs, early marriage, sexually transmitted disease and complications from unprofessional abortions among adolescent girls is on the increase.
“Most of these girls fall within the age range of 14-19 years.”
According to her, the issues continue to increase as a result of non or limited implementation of the National Reproductive Health Policy by Kaduna State Government.
She said that the gap had left adolescent girls with no access to adequate information on sexual and reproductive health, thus leaving them to shoulder higher burden of diseases, low level of education and poverty.
“Kaduna state has an estimated number of adolescent girls to be 900,000. In February 2019, a report by Daily Trust online showed that 21 per cent of teenage girls aged 15 to 19 have been pregnant in the state last year and the number keeps increasing.
“With proper awareness, the adolescent girls would patronise the safe spaces in health facilities better without the fear of being labelled “bad girls”.”
She listed Sabon Tasha General Hospital, Mararaban Rido Primary Healthcare Centre and Kujama Primary Healthcare Centre as health facilities for the project.