Position: Media & Communications Manager
Current Location: Nigeria, West Africa
MBA from Ladoke Akintola University of technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo state, Nigeria
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
• Associate Member, Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON)
• Associate Member, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR)
Omolara Aluko is a teacher, counselor and communication expert with over a decade of experience. She holds a degree in Mass Communication and an MBA in marketing management. Her journey into reproductive and family planning world stems from her experience with young adults, and her passion to see them live a healthy and safe sexual life. She has been counseling numerous adults and young adult alike on how to make informed decision regarding contraception and its adoption. Lara, as she is fondly called by colleagues and friends, heads the media and communication arm of DKT International Nigeria. Within just a year of joining DKT Nigeria, she has revolutionized the family planning message dissemination in Nigeria through her strategy of focusing on methods rather than the generic messaging of “family planning is good, adopt today,” which has not impacted the adoption of FP over the years. Her various FP messages across different platforms online and offline are method-specific and have generated lots of engagement with users and intending users. She has presented contraception programs and also appeared on radio and television programs with numerous interviews on how contraception can help the Nigerian state.
“She is an agent of change in the area reduction of maternal related death through advocacy on the use of modern contraceptives
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.
Working with teenagers for over 15 years has been an eye-opener. Teenagers are not easily impressed, highly adventurous and almost always rebellious.so engaging them in talks centred on their sexual life and their disposition towards contraceptive usage is interesting but daunting. I have been able to reach out to and follow up closely with about 1500 teenagers (male and female) in the church advocating the need to adopt the use of contraceptives following the increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortion amongst these teenagers. Through my bi-monthly programme on sex & contraceptive, there has been a drastic decrease because they are now empowered to live a healthy sexual life. I ran a successful honeyandbanana contraceptive activation at different malls on Feb. 14.
What sparked your passion for family planning?
Losing 5 dear students to death resulting from complications from an unsafe abortion changed my life and sparked my passion for family planning. Losing these students made me feel guilty- Did I not do enough? or Did I do too much? The guilt and disappointment spurred my interest in starting a programme on sex and contraceptive education. I knew it was a great way to stop the deaths from recurring and it worked, the church has come to appreciate sex education and contraceptive adoption.
Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:
Before now, contraceptive programmes are extremely rare on the Nigerian mass media platform. As DKTNigeria media manager, I broke the jinx by starting a weekly 30 minutes radio/ TV programmes that discuss extensively the different methods of contraceptives in detail while also allowing for feedback.To ensure believability, I have had the opportunity to allow current users of different methods of contraceptive to come on the radio and share their experiences with Nigerian women and men alike.
If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?
I will develop an affordable, attractive and youth friendly Z- card flier that contains in-depth information on all methods of contraceptives, how it works, its benefits, the likely side effects to expect, the fact about the myths around contraceptives and counselling help lines that is confidential and non-judgmental. This z-card will be distributed to schools for students to have as the contraceptive guide and the guide will also provide a youth-friendly website for more details.