By Chioma Obinna & Juliet Umeh

As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark 2019 Word Contraception Day, WCD, Civil Society Groups and other stakeholders in Lagos have called on the Lagos State Government to ensure timely release of family planning funds to enable the quality provision of sexual and reproductive health for young people.

Prioritise timely release of family planning funds —LASG
Lagos State Government

The groups which include the Pathfinder International, Media Advocacy Working Group, MAWG, and the Public Health Sustainable Advocacy Working Group, PHSAI, made the call Monday, during its activities to commemorating the Word Contraception Day.

In his submission, the Chairman, PHSAI, Barrister Ayo Adebusoye, explained that prompt release of family planning funds and efforts to develop its annual budget in line with the state’s family planning Costed Implementation Plan, CIP, would help in preventing high-risk sexual behaviour among young people.

Adebusoye said: “Delay in acting fast is responsible for the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy, out of school girls, baby dumping, post-abortion complications, and death.” Also speaking, Communications & Media Officer, Pathfinder Nigeria, Mrs. Somto Atuanya, urged the state government to show serious commitment to family planning, Cost Implementation Plan Reviews, budget lines creation among others.

Representing Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, AYSRH, in Lagos, Mr. Abiodun Ajayi, commended the State government for the bold steps it has taken over the years to increase young people’s access to youth-friendly sexual reproductive health.

Ajayi however, stressed the need for urgent discussions around adolescents and youth’s family planning issues at all levels.

He identified challenges facing uptake of family planning services by young people in Lagos to include lack of access to adequate and accurate life planning information, inadequate Youth-friendly health facilities, provider bias, and poor knowledge of contraceptive options and benefits among others.

World Contraception Day is a worldwide campaign observed annually on the 26th of September with the aim to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

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