In order to increase the visibility of youth-led sexual reproductive health and rights programmes, to create and sustain a platform for dialogue on the use of adolescent and youth family planning data for decision making, the 2018 Youth Pre-conference has focus on these.
The Youth Pre- conference which is sub conference of 2018 Nigeria Family Planning also focus on how to increase awareness on the challenges in accessing contraceptive information and services for young people who suffer other forms of vulnerability.
At the sub conference, which was youth led conference meeting, youth from various development organization and stakeholder bodies were present.
Speaking at the event Dr. Moji Odeku, the Portfolio Country Director for John Hopkins said it was imperative to have young people in the forefront of championing issues that concerns them such as their reproductive health rights.
Dr Odeku encouraged them to bring up innovative ideas that will increase their access to facilities and family planning services.
She concluded saying that the conference looked forward to the young people’s full participation.
The representative from UNFPA Kaduna, Bahijjatu Bello Garba in her opening remark said that “Every young person’s potential deserves to be met. Young people are the future and present not just leaders of tomorrow”.
While charging the youths, Garba said “they are important in creating the Nigerian society we all desire and you are stakeholders in decision making process and therefore should be more involved”.
The Youth pre-conference had participants breaking out into groups that addressed various thematic areas aimed at meeting the SRHR of adolescents/young people.
These includes unmet need of adolescents and youth with disabilities, adolescent and youth family planning data and unmet need of adolescents and youth living with HIV.
Other areas are deliberate youth engagement in family planning progrmmes, tech innovations in family planning and youth led advocacy.
The high point of the Youth pre-conference event was the pitch session where five young innovative young people share their innovative work as it relates to meeting reproductive health needs of adolescents/young people.
Jara Care, an organization founded to provide free medical consultation online for young people. This gives them access to doctors who attends to their health concerns and needs.
ZENAFRI whose aims through the programme make smart phones affordable and accessible to young people in order to be able to link them with information about their reproductive health related concerns.
ZENAFRI creates a story game app online. Young people visiting the site engaging in these games which equips them with decision making skills on relationship matters and more.
Women and Girl Child Empowerment organization is focused on meeting the Family Planning needs of women and girls in IDP camps.
Girls Club is a community based organization founded by a 16 year old, Peace Adegbola who is a role model to other adolescent girls in her community.
Adegbola through her work creates an environment to equip girls like herself with life skills and information necessary to curb unwanted pregnancy.
The pre-conference meeting ends with a recap of solutions that participants came up with to meet the SRH needs of adolescents and youth.