The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says it will open two additional youth centers in Lagos state to improve sexual and reproductive health information and services for youth.
His Chief in the Lagos Liaison Office, Dr. Omolaso Omosehin, also the UNFPA Assistant Representatives, made him known in Lagos.
Omosehin said the youth centers, which are part of the “Hello Lagos Project”, would open before December in the Yaba and Ikorodu areas of Lagos state.
The Hello Lagos Project, an Adolescent / Youth Sexual Reproductive Health Unit of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, was started in 2002, funded and supported by UNFPA.
The center aims to bridge the gap by providing a “safe, accessible and confidential center for youth” in the state for health and personal development, sexual and reproductive health.
Provide out-of-school counseling and other youth-appropriate services, information and services to youth, free of charge in a safe and confidential environment.
Currently, there are five Hello Lagos Youth Friendly Centers (YFC) in Agege, the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH), Ojo, Oko Awo on Lagos Island, the communities of Ogudu and Ajegunle in Lagos.
Omosehin said sexual and reproductive health information and services would enable teens to make informed decisions about their bodies and their health.
He said that sexual ignorance among adolescents and young people has consequences that would be adverse for them and for society.
“Unprotected sex is the most common route of HIV infection among young people; Poor knowledge about HIV and sexual health is a key barrier to reducing HIV infections among young people.
“In the centers, young people will have universal access to accurate information on sexual and reproductive health; a range of safe and affordable contraceptive methods.
“They will also be given sensitive counseling on the prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV,” he said.
Omosehin said the center trains health personnel to be youth-friendly and to discuss sexuality issues with youth in an open and non-stigmatizing way.
He said that in addition to sexual and reproductive health services at the center, the program also offers electronic counseling, computer training, skills training, and community outreach.