This programme took place on December 2, 2021. The main purpose of this workshop was to share update(s) of the final copy of the harmonized action plan, to plan for the 2022 International Adolescent Health Week, and to disseminate Family Life Health Education’s (FLHE) findings from some implementations.
The workshop was moderated by Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma, the Desk Officer, Adolescents, and Young Persons Health, Rivers State Ministry of Health.
Some issues that Adolescents face were identified, among which were: 1) Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion. 2) Rise in Cultism 3) Prevalent Drug Abuse among Adolescents. So, how do we mitigate and solve this issue, apart from identifying the challenges? There are implementing partners to ensure these objectives are achieved through the stipulated strategies. One of the strategies agreed on to tackle this menace was parental engagement
We need to have “Parental Engagement” alongside traditional rulers. They can talk to the consciences of their children. And then, work-out strategies to talk to those involved in Cultism (the cultists themselves), so that they don’t attack back. First, we need God and then, we need Parents to be bold. We will help the cult leaders understand what they stand to gain on the other side of life. When they have been convinced, they can help us to sensitize their followers. We need to use the Media (Radio) through regular jingles to sensitize the public. Also, Church/Religious Leaders, we need to talk to them as well. In approaching Cult Leaders, we should address them as “Social Organization Leaders or Youth Leaders”, let’s be subtle in our approach. Most Cult Leaders are violent and arrogant in nature.
Next on the Agenda is “2022 International Adolescent Health Week”; this will happen on the 3rd week of March, 20th – 26th, 2022. Youth Ambassadors will be recruited and the theme is “Transition: Laying Foundation for Adolescent Development”. Plan for screening (HIV/AIDS screening/Mental Health Check) for Adolescents in school and out of school. Carry out activities to create awareness.
It was clear that one of the factors militating against the success of this programme is inadequate facilities. We don’t have enough facilities at the Primary Health Centres, unfortunately, most. Adolescents need confidentiality, they need respect and privacy and with these, you can get any information from them. 23 LGA’s in the State, have two (2) to three (3) Focal Persons and they visit schools, but the linkage facilities are still an issue and it’s challenging. Some of the issues, include; STIs, Post-Abortion issues, etc. In the State, we have over 4000 (plus) Secondary Schools and how many Teachers are taught the FLHE Programme/training. The Primary Health Board is ensuring that facilities in the Health Centres are Adolescent friendly.
Several issues were raised. The FLHE Programme and the needs for Facilities. We will start small, but we will get there. D-Ability Initiative was represented by Dr. Kingdom U. Nwanyanwu.