ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH (HELLO LAGOS)
To create a society where every young person in Lagos State have the opportunity to affect their world positively; by developing systems that foster strong youth-voice in service and decision-making.
To bridge the gap by providing a “safe and confidential centre for young people” of Lagos State in terms of health and personal development.
HELLO LAGOS CLUB OVERVIEW
What is Hello Lagos?
Hello Lagos is an Adolescent/Youth Sexual Reproductive Health unit under the Lagos state Ministry of Health. It was established in May 2002, by the then Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to cater for the youths of Lagos state. Hello Lagos is expected to bridge the gap by providing a “safe and confidential centre for young people”. From experience, young people would rather patronize quacks instead of the hospital as these quacks are perceived as “confidential though not safe”, while the hospitals are ‘safe’ but not ‘confidential’. It is therefore important to create a safe and confidential place for these young people. Hence, the establishment of Hello Lagos; a place to reach out to the young people of Lagos State.
The name “HELLO LAGOS” was conceived, by the Lagos State Government, out of the two words “HELLO” and “LAGOS”. ‘HELLO’ from answering phone calls because the unit was initiated during the ‘GSM’ era and young people are the most enthusiastic about phones. They therefore fit right in as our target group. ‘LAGOS’ is our place of operation and origin. Hello Lagos started as a phone-in-programme where hot lines were open to young people to call in anytime of the day and is indigenous to Lagos State! One of such hot lines is 08029000007.
Why Hello Lagos Club?
One important determinant of adolescent and young people’s sexual and reproductive health is their access to and uptake of information about reproductive health services. Youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services are tailored to:
• Ensure confidentiality and privacy;
• Train non-judgmental providers;
• Be affordable; and,
• Have youth participation.
Youth Friendly Services
In a recent assessment of youth friendly services in Nigeria, 59% of the Youth Friendly Services (YFS) facilities assessed offered integrated services. 37% offered youth only services, while 4.8% offered youth only hours. A higher percentage of facilities in the south were dedicated only to youth, than in the North which was 40.5% to 34% respectively. Funds to maintain and sustain these facilities vary widely across the regions; government funding in the North accounts for 19% and 37.8% in the South. Apart from Local income generating activities, funds for these YFS in the North are largely from International Donors (up to 40.6%). These donors account for 35% in the South.
School Health System
A rapid assessment of the school health system conducted nationwide in 2003 by the Federal Ministry of health in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that Family life and AIDs Education (FLHE)/Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), though approved for National implementation, was not being provided in 36% of the secondary schools assessed. In schools where FLHE was being taught, it was being taught in an integrated manner along with other core subjects such as: Biology, Integrated science, Christian religious knowledge, Moral instruction, Health education and Social studies. A similar situation was found at the primary school level where 69.2% of school heads indicated that some form of FLHE/Sexuality Education was being implemented as part of moral instruction and physical education.
According to the former Minister for Health, Prof Olikoye Ransome Kuti, over 60% of patients presented at Nigerian Hospitals with abortion complications are adolescent girls. Abortion complications account for 72% of all deaths among young girls under the age of 19years and 50% of the deaths in Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate are adolescents girls which is also due to illegal abortions. Of 127 pregnant school girls, 52% were expelled from school, 20% were too ashamed to return, 15% would not return because their parents refused to pay tuition and 8% were forced to marry.
One of these alternatives is to give knowledge about sexuality to young people so that they can take responsibility of their actions. Allowing them to live and act in sexual ignorance is destructive to them and society. The problem of AIDS affects all aspects of the disease and its spread is most rapid among them. They are therefore at the centre of the epidemic. The fourth session of the world youth forum of the united Nations, held in Dakar, Senegal in August 2001, provided a forum to ensure the empowerment of young people to participate more effectively in every aspect of society.
The African Youth Charter
The African youth charter, endorsed by the African Union Heads of state in July 2006 provided the first ever legal framework for youth development at the regional level since inception of the organization in 1964. The African Youth charter highlights, among other things: youth responsibilities and participation in implementation of the charter; education and skills development; poverty eradication, sustainable livelihoods and youths employment; health, including sexual and reproductive health and HIV; prevention of drugs and substance of abuse; peace and security; youth and culture; elimination of discrimination against girls and young women; and harmful traditional practices.
The National Reproductive Health Policy declaration reiterates that the Governments and people of Nigeria realize that women, men and adolescents have specific sexual and reproductive health needs that must be met, noting that past efforts to meet these needs had resulted in a proliferation of various policies and programmes which had limited impact in reducing sexual and reproductive ill health of the adolescents.
The overall goal of the Reproductive Health Policy is to create an enabling environment for appropriate action, and provide the necessary impetus and guidance to national and local initiatives in all areas of reproductive health…”
The aims and objectives are enumerated as follows:
• To establish in-house adolescent reproductive health centre. This is to equip the youth and young people both in and out of school, with correct information and psychosocial skills needed to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.
• To provide facilities for information to youth through telephone and mails. This is to increase availability and accessibility to the youth, quality reproductive health services.
• To establish “Hello Lagos” clubs in secondary schools in Lagos State. This is to establish a link between school health, services and reproductive health needs of youths.
• To provide referral for clients to the health care delivery system. This is to rehabilitate youths who have had reproductive health problems such as unsafe abortion.
1. Secretariat Technical Working Group.
2. In-school clubs
3. Community outreaches.
4. Advocacy and sensitization (Churches and mosques)
5. Counseling (In-house, mobile communication and through the social media)
6. Reproductive health clinic
7. Provision of Preventive and Clinical services
HELLO LAGOS BRANCHES
• Hello Lagos LASUTH, 1-5 Oba Akinjobi way, LASUTH Complex Ikeja.
• Hello Lagos Oko-awo Lagos Island LGA
• Hello Lagos Ogudu PHC
• Sango PHC- Agege PHC
About to commence:
• Akere PHC- Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA
The Unit has implemented series of activities such as:
1. Training of Health workers from the Local Government Areas on provision of Adolescent/Youth Friendly services. 2 batches of training of 60 Health workers on provision of Youth Friendly Services conducted in 2013.
2. Annual Celebration of special programs such as;
3. Conduct of Quarterly Lagos State Technical Working Group (TWG) on Adolescent Youth Health and Development. The Group has members drawn from line ministries, NGO’s, Partners, Religious bodies, Media, Individuals and groups. The working group was inaugurated in year 2012 by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health.
• Valentine’s Day.
• World AIDs Day.
• International Youth Day.
• African Youth Day.
It provides an opportunity for experts and stakeholders to rub minds and offer technical advice on ways of enhancing the health of adolescents and youth in Lagos State.
Conducts Community Outreaches for Out-of-school Youths in selected LGAs as follows:
2012- Community outreach conducted in Lagos Island LGA (Oko-Awo)
2013- Community outreach conducted Ikeja LGA
2014 – Community outreach conducted in Lagos Mainland LGA (Makoko)
2015- Community outreach conducted in Iwaya community on the 19th March, 2015
• Meeting on sexual violence at office of Attorney General of the State Ministry of Justice on the 15th of January, 2015
• Opening ceremony of Hello Lagos Youth Friendly Centre at Sango PHC Agege on the 7thof May , 2015
• Drafting of Lagos State Youth Policy Document.
-Inauguration of TWG 18th August, 2015
– Meeting with Stakeholders at Ikeja Youth Center on 20th August, 2015
– Drafting of the Policy on 26th – 28th at Ostra Hotels and Halls
• Hello Lagos Stakeholders meeting was conducted on 4th August,2015 at LASUTH Ikeja Center
• Routine counseling, health talk and Edutainment were observed for adolescent including out of school children
• Total attendance was 3,249 with 11 Clinical cases seen
– Sex addiction 4 Female
-Child abuse 3 Female
-HCT 2 Female
– Rape 4 Female
– Post Abortion 1 Female
– Puerperal Psychosis 1 Female