Cheering news – Involvement of young people in family and life planning in Nigeria

The Advancing Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health Advocacy in Nigeria (PROJECT AAYRHAN) is a collaboration between the Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) and Partnership At Scale (PAS). Partnership At Scale (PAS) is a Health accountability project with a timeline of 2017-2022 whose issue areas are Family Planning, Routine immunization, among others. Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) is a non-for-profit research and health development organisation with a mission to improve health systems and health development. AHEAD engages in health system strengthening, research, programme implementation, capacity building, and translating knowledge into effective policies and programmes.  Adolescent development is a priority at AHEAD.

PROJECT AAYRHAN is aimed at empowering young people to advocate for family planning policies in Lagos. We believe that if the capacity of young people and organizations with potentials for impact in the Adolescent and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health field is built in identifying, tracking and advocating for youth focused family planning policies in Lagos state, then there would be (i) More empowered young people with the capacity to drive relevant changes and influence their peers;  (ii) Awareness and monitoring of the implementation of youth related family planning policies in Lagos; and (iii) Effective implementation and accountability of youth related family planning policies in Lagos State. These we hope to achieve by implementing evidence-based family and life planning initiatives.

The overarching aim of the workshop was to initiate the development process of 40 Family Planning Youth Advocates in Lagos State. The objectives were to:

·         Expose the young people to field experience in Adolescent Health and Family practices in Lagos State.

·         Create a linkage among PROJECT AAYRHAN, Family planning Youth Advocates in Lagos State and the Adolescent Health Unit of the Lagos State Ministry of Health.

·         Train the Youth Advocates on developing high impact action plans

The workshop held between the 24th to 27th of September 2019 at the Bible Guest House, Palm Groove, Lagos State and was targeted at 40 young persons from 9 different youth organisations in Lagos State that focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health of young people.

The workshop had presentation sessions on topics related to key issues in Adolescent family planning and Action plan development were held.

At the end of the workshop, the participants were able to develop two high impact action plans for advancing advocacy on young people family planning policies in Lagos State. They also showed creativity by making a short video to support contraceptive effective policies in Lagos State in support of the World Contraceptive day.

The workshop also birthed positive outcomes like building a collaborative link between the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Youth groups in Lagos and AHEAD-PAS project.

The next steps for PROJECT AARYHAN are to provide funding for the implementation of the two Action plans drafted by the young people and technical support for the implementation of the Action Plans and to ensure continuous engagement of the committed young people in the AARYHAN Project.

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORKSHOP

During the workshop, our youth advocates commemorated the World Contraception Day by lending their voices on Sexual and Reproductive Health Right issues; contraceptive commodities and condition in Nigeria. See video below

 

AHEAD begins Implementation Stage of the StaRS Project

Following the Community Dialogue program, the Academy for Health Development in conjunction with the Osun State Education Board and other stakeholders have begun the implementation stage of the Starting Right at School (StaRS) project.

The first step was to carry out a Water and Sanitation NEEDS assessment of the three schools where intervention is to be carried out. This NEEDS assessment was done to examine the state of the water and sanitation hygiene facilities in the schools and to propose the most cost-effective sustainable interventions as allowed by the grant of $1000 for each school. The three schools assessed were Anglican Government Central Middle School, St Stephen’s Middle School and Oranmiyan Middle School, Osun state, Nigeria.

Some of the WASH challenges found in the schools included: a lack of proper waste management, faulty plumbing systems, improperly combined male and female toilet facilities, and faulty toilet facilities.

The interventions to be put in place to tackle these WASH challenges would be: provision of an incinerator to facilitate proper waste disposal system; repair/replacement of leaking pipes and toilet facilities as the case may be; training of school staff on the importance separating staff toilets from students’ and distinguishing male and female toilet facilities as a way of promoting healthy social and reproductive health and hygiene.

Photo Highlights from the Visits