The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says it will inaugurate additional two youth-friendly centres in Lagos State to enhance sexual and reproductive health information and services for youths.
Its Head in Lagos Liaison Office, Dr Omolaso Omosehin, also the Assistant Reps, UNFPA, made this known in Lagos.
Omosehin said that the youth-friendly centres, which fall under the “Hello Lagos Project”, would be opened before December in Yaba and Ikorodu areas of Lagos State.
Hello Lagos Project, an Adolescent/Youth Sexual Reproductive Health Unit of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, was initiated in 2002, funded and supported by UNFPA.
The centre aims at bridging the gap by providing a “safe, accessible and confidential centre for young people” in the state for health and personal development, sexual and reproductive health.
It will provide after-school coaching and other relevant youth-friendly services, information and services to young people, free of charge in a safe and confidential environment.
Currently, there are five Hello Lagos Youth Friendly Centres (YFCs) at Agege, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ojo, Oko Awo in Lagos Island, Ogudu and Ajegunle Communities in Lagos.
Omosehin said that sexual and reproductive health information and services would empower adolescents to make informed choices about their bodies and health.
He said sexual ignorance among adolescents and youths have consequences that would be inimical to them and the society.
“Unprotected sex is the most common route of HIV infection among young people; low HIV and sexual health knowledge is a key barrier to reducing HIV infections among the young population.
“At the centres, youths will have universal access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information; a range of safe and affordable contraceptive methods.
“They will also be given sensitive counselling on the prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV,” he said.
Omosehin said that the centre trains health personnel to be youth-friendly and to discuss sexuality issues with young people in an open and non-stigmatising way.
He said in addition to the centre’s on-site sexual and reproductive health services, the programme also provides e-counselling, computer training, skills training and community outreach.