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Stakeholders develop strategy to address adolescent, youth reproductive health rights in Anambra

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

Stakeholders in the health sector and youths recently developed a strategy document capable of addressing adolescents and youths reproductive health rights in Anambra state. 

Orient Daily learnt that the strategy-drafting meeting organised by the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning in collaboration with the Anambra State Ministry of Health, would provide a legal framework for protection of rights of youths and adolescents to access basic medical care as concerned reproductive health and others. This, it was learnt, would be in line with the existing National Policy on adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health right.

The 2-day event took place in Awka, the Anambra state capital. 

Speaking at the occasion, the Country Director, International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, Ms Hawa Obaje, represented by an Advocate Associate in the organisation, Miss Queen Chikwendu said the meeting would assess implications of existing policies that support youth-friendly access to and use of family planning services, and identified opportunities to strengthen the policies based on evidence best practices.

According to Obaje, after drafting the strategy document, the Ministry of Health will support, monitor and follow it up to ensure its full implementation for the overall good of the state.

Also speaking, Miss Ijeoma Ikeanyionwu, the Gender Based Focal person for Anambra State, added that the strategy document would empower health care providers to address youths and adolescents reproductive health services and gender-based rights without fear or biased mind, to eradicate gender-based violence, unsafe abortion, HIV, and others.

Ikeanyionwu, who represented the programme manager, Adolescent and Youth Development in the Ministry of Health, said the office would intensify sensitisation campaigns across the 21 local government areas of the state to identify and educate the younger generations with the provisions of the law once accepted.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Anambra State Ministry of Health, Dr. Linus Nwankwo, represented by Dr. Uju Okoye, said the state is delighted for the programme because the policy strategy would be worked out and domesticated to fit the culture, social and belief of the state with a view to addressing the plights of the youths and adolescents.

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