Even though I studied Geology for my undergraduate degree, I have shown a lot of commitment to sexual and reproductive health issues purely on a volunteer basis. I have over the years worked to provide information to young people in my neighborhood on HIV/AIDS, SRHR and FP – mobilizing resources, including young people every year for these sessions. The neighborhood I have targeted is a large urban informal settlement in Lagos with very many vulnerable young people, totally unaware of their sexual health issues, choices and rights. My initiative has helped to prevent many unwanted pregnancies, reduced HIV/AIDS infections and raised awareness about where young people can go to seek sexual health care services. I am also a volunteer with the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN)
My passion for family planning was borne out of the increasing rate of teenage pregnancies and maternal mortality in the country. About one third of Nigeria population that is 45 Million young people between the ages 10-24 got pregnant in 2015. The occurrence of teenage pregnancy in the country might increase to about 120 million by 2020 and this situation could get out of hand if nothing is done. Family planning and comprehensive sexuality education has been recognized as key intervention.
The biggest challenge I have faced in the family planning effort is the issue of cultural and religious belief.
In other to overcome this challenge, I have been organizing events to bring young people and parents together to discuss what we 'young people' should know about our sexuality and public awareness programs on family planning (In association with PPFN).
I also advocate and re-sensitize religious leaders on importance of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
The biggest challenge of family planning in Nigeria is corruption. The high level of poverty in the country has prevented women from accessing some of the facilities provided either by the Government or private organizations. Some of the allocations made for the purchase of commodities are either squandered or not well utilized. About 16% of Nigeria women said they wanted Family Planning but they are not getting it because of these challenges. Government should fund FP and eradicate corruption.
The current prevalence rate for contraceptive use is very low compare to the high sexual activity in Nigeria.
In 5 years’ time, Nigeria to achieve a 10% raise in the contraceptive prevalence rate.
Also, a scale up in Comprehensive Sexuality Education and 10% reduction in teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortion.