I want to tweet about #FamilyPlanning among teenage girls tomorrow, what they really use, where they get their information from, who they talk too etc. Its crazy what these young ones know and experiment with
Lets talk #FamilyPlanning among Teenage Girls.
Good afternoon
I will make references to
1. The National Reproductive Health Policy 2017
2., National Family Planning Communication Plan (2017-2020)
As the case may be but the bulk of the statistics used will be based on my work with @PlannedGirls in Ondo State.
Available Statistics show prevalence of unsafe sexual behaviour, & consequently poor sexual & Reproductive outcomes such as #TeenagePregnancy, Unsafe abortions & STIs among adolescents (Pg 8, National Reproductive Health Policy 2017).
Thankfully one of our National documents admits the high prevalence of unsafe sexual behaviour plus outcomes among adolescents. #FamilyPlanning
This same document (National Reproductive Health Policy 2017)admits that there is inadequate linkage of Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) services to the regular health service delivery system and poor coordination of ARH at state level. #FamilyPlanning
Nigeria is noted for high risk pregnancies, high risk
births (nearly two-thirds of births fall into this category) and high risk fertility behaviors (Page 1, National Family Planning Communication Plan 2017-2020) #FamilyPlanning
Adolescent girls bear the brunt of uninformed choices as regards Sex, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Harmful Traditional Practices etc #FamilyPlanning
Let's leave all these technicalities for now and talk reality. Like never before, adolescents (teenagers) are engaging in sex nowadays. Most times very risky with a lot of them not being able to negotiate safe sex or even know about safe sex #FamilyPlanning
Working with teenagers can be mind-blowing and you must NEVER betray their confidence. I started off as strictly abstinence based till à teenager challenged me, asking about those who were already sexually active. This was 2012. I was shocked #FamilyPlanning
Then during Process Oriented Approach & Role Play during our club meetings, I realised that teenage girls were having sex, crazy, risky sex ! Even those you never expect to have sex. Nowadays its more shocking #FamilyPlanning
Scénario one: During a @PlannedGirls club meeting, we had 24 girls in attendance, 16 were sexually active, 6 were raped/abused, 2 were virgins. It was shocking because these were girls I saw everyday, every blessed day. #FamilyPlanning
Scénario 2: One of my girls gets pregnant and stylishly asks me about pregnancy, abortion etc. They always talk to each other & she buys Cycotec, uses it & comes to my house. It doesn't manifest till she goes back to her house. #FamilyPlanning
She was the first girl I took for #FamilyPlanning after she opened up to all the sex she was having. I was shocked because that period she was always in my house. Where did she find time to have sex? Well.... I was once a teenager so I'd say, Timing is key
Scénario 3: one of the girls tells me that girls are mixing flagyl, tetracycline and what not to either delay or hasten their periods or as a #FamilyPlanning method. Oya... Straight to the health center.
The truth is that even when teenagers/adolescents have a trusted person (*insert adult or older person) they can talk to, they will always first of all talk to themselves, they will always try to assist each other. You might never know till it goes south #FamilyPlanning
There is always that one girl that knows, or feels she knows more than the others or who the girls feel knows more than them. She is the one who they always run to. In my case, Ó is that girl. So to reach the others, I befriend her #FamilyPlanning
She is the one who will tell you who is doing what, with who, taking what or what they talk about generally. #FamilyPlanning
Their parents most times can't believe that their baby girls are having sex (on the very rare occasions when you have to tell the parents), but most feel their girls are not and cannot have sex till teenage pregnancy occurs #FamilyPlanning
Sometime a go, I tweeted about Omotosho and the rate of Teenage Pregnancy there. I remember someone saying it was a rural setting, it was bound to happen. Well, I see this same scenario happen in Akure over and over again. #FamilyPlanning
Recently, I have told the girls that anyone who does mixology will get reported to their parents. They (plus their friends) mix all sorts from the almighty Tramadol, indocide, flagyl, tetracycline to hot, ponche etc as a form of #FamilyPlanning or abortion
We have an adolescent friendly center in Ondo State, Akure precisely that is no where near friendly. The staff there are very judgemental and preach a lot so this deters the girls from going to seek services or if they go, they say something else entirely #FamilyPlanning
Statistics from the 2013 NHDS indicate that a quarter (23%) of females age 15-19 years had begun childbearing and according to the 2012 National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Survey (NARHS) about a 5th (20%) of males & two-fifths (37%) of females aged 15-19 are sexually active
In Page 14 of the National Reproductive Health Policy 2017, it is said that addressing the SRH needs of teenage girls aged 10-14 especially the current 10 year old girls and adolescent girls of 15-19 are of critical importance for realising #DemographicDividend in Nigeria
We've had scenarios of girls inserting all sorts in their vaginas to induce bleeding when their periods are late or pregnancy has occurred. Some whose parents find out will bundle them off to the man's house. Her life as a 'married woman' starts that moment. #FamilyPlanning
When I was a teenager, Gynaecosid was the drug teenagers would buy off the counter to sort period lateness or pregnancy. I think it was two hundred naira then thereabout. Now Cycotec is available & other drugs are abused just to take care of SRHR needs #FamilyPlanning
In accessing #FamilyPlanning with adolescent girls, I ensure they never go alone. Even when I'm there, the stylish snide comments, looks and sometimes songs can be unnerving then I imagine if I wasn't there.
List of things adolescents I've worked with via @PlannedGirls try for #FamilyPlanning
1. 7UP/Sprite
2. Atare
3. Flagyl+ tetracycline
4. Any drug plus 'hot' drink
5. Cycotec
6. Flagyl, Indocide and 7up
7. Postinor
8. Raw ginger
9. The powder inside tetracycline
10. Any drug & Kero
I don't know how I sit there listening without screaming or shaking people's children when they mention all these. Even the ones who are Masturbating and experimenting with lesbianism insert & use all sorts as lubrication #FamilyPlanning
The National Reproductive Health Policy 2017 is beautiful on paper. So beautiful especially page 22 that talks about the key priority area of focus. I love the (B) priority area of focus. What is lacking is will void of culture and religion #FamilyPlanning
B says Healthy Sexual Development & Sexuality through promotion of sexual health, provision of SRH information and friendly services to CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE. #FamilyPlanning
We all have our roles to play, as parents, aunts, uncles etc but Government must also play its role in being realistic towards Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights of adolescents and Young people #FamilyPlanning
I am tired of Teenagers doing DIY methods or self destructing with drugs over the counter because they want to try and sort out their sex related matters because the services aren't readily available to them #FamilyPlanning

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