The Country Director of Love Matters Naija, Alu Azege, has called on medical practitioners to support in providing the youth with the needed knowledge on contraception and its usage.
She made the call at a virtual media briefing in Abuja, yesterday.
The briefing was organized in partnership between Maries Stopes Nigeria and Love Matters Naija.
“Today, we want to call on medical practitioners to give support. We need you to be supportive in the knowledge of contraception and its usage, especially, when it comes to young people, because it is, indeed, their right,” Alu stressed.
She noted that Love Matters Naija is a Non Governmental Organsation (NGO) that focuses on issues of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and their rights.
“We want young people to know how far and how much rights we have when it comes to these issues.
“For us at Love Matter Naija, we address the issue of SRH from the place of positive perspective. We do not want anything short of it.
“We believe with adequate information that when these issues are looked at, given adequate attention, Nigeria will be a better place someday.”
She called youth to be free and open to initiate conversation about contraception in order to be safe.
“I am glad that we are educating our youth and encouraging a discussion about contraception among the young people and this is evident in all our conversation.
“If you find yourself in the social media any time where we are currently are, you will see young people talk very openly about these issues and we want to promote that. “So we are happy about today.
“With so many birth control options available, choosing the most suitable form can be very discouraging for many young Nigerians.
“We encourage the youth to get the contraception and ask their healthcare providers which contraception is best for them,” she stressed
According to Alu, her NGO has been working with young people of less than 15 years for the past two years and have since discovered that many of them have challenges on SRH and therefore, advised young people to be open minded so that they can be safe.
She, however, lamented that: “When we talk to young people about the contraception they use, some people say they use salt, in this day and age, some use harps and when it gets to a stage where they can’t stop it, it gets really bad.
“Young people are looking for platforms where they can get information and that is what Love Matters Naija is providing for them. “
Speaking, the Head, Marketing and Communications, Marie Stopes Nigeria, Ogechi Onuoha, regretted that the big challenge about SRH among both adults and the young people was that sex and sexuality is largely seen as a social taboo in many of our cultures.
“We don’t talk about sex freely. We discuss sex in hush tones.
“Because of this stigma and embarrassment around discussing sex, young persons and even adults alike are not very open about sexuality and sexual health.
“An adult cannot easily go into a pharmacy to buy a condom. They cant openly discuss it.
“It is that safe space to discuss freely without being judged, that is where we need to get to as a people and as a nation,” she noted.