By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Stakeholders in the health sector have condemned all forms of abuse and violence against young girls in the country.
The experts who spoke on Wednesday to mark the 2019 Day of the Girl Child condemned various forms of abuse carried against young girls.
At the media round table organized by the Society for Family Health (SFH), Dr. Ejike Orji, Chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Family Planing (AAFP), said the day is important to look at the issues affecting girl child such as humiliation, forced marriage and sexual violence.
“We are also concerned that 62 million girls around the world have no access to education. Also, 70% of our population in Nigeria is under 30 and they are sexually active people. At this age, they need food, love and sex and if they can’t get it easily they take it by force.
“The security forces are overwhelmed. Every year we add 3 million to our population and our resources is not doing well. We must discourage this violence and educate our young ones properly.
“Mothers should be friends with their children and build a panel of behaviour. This is to ensure that they trust you with any information. If you don’t do that, they will open up to other people who might not give them the right advice.”
Also speaking, Pharm. Fifi Ogbondeminu, A360 Deputy Project Director, said for over two decades the organization has been implementing youth-focused programmes and facilitating youth participation in health programmes.
“It is for this reason that addressing the health and development of young people promotes their adoption of healthy behaviours and in turn, ensures a healthy and productive future adult population is paramount.
She said it’s Global Fund Adolescents and Young People (AYP) Project :Babes Alive
Action research was meant to; “unravel the vulnerability factors that predispose Adolescent and Young Persons (AYP) to HIV and AIDS and developed health and social interventions to identify and mitigate the vulnerabilities of AYP to HIV.
She added that the program was Implemented in all Local Government Areas across three states – Akwa Ibom, Oyo and FCT Abuja.
She said the aim of the Project was to minimize new cases of HIV to increase voluntary, modern contraceptive use and reduce unintended pregnancy among adolescent girls between 15-19-years-old in Nigeria”.
Also speaking, Hajiya Fatima Muhammad, A360 Project Director, called on young people to support the global family planning goals, UNAIDS goals, and sustainable development goals through volunteering for health interventions, advocating for impact within their communities, and influencing peers to live healthier lives.