Many sexually active adolescents and young people want to delay pregnancy and prevent sexually transmitted infections. Still, they have poor understanding, limited access to health services, and a lack of support from influential individuals in their lives to initiate or sustain contraceptive use. The selected states (Benue states and the FCT) with 20 communities in Gwer-East and Tarka Local Government of Benue State and 20 communities in Bwari and Kuje Area Council of FCT have committed to addressing AYP SRHR’s issues through the development of the Adolescent and Young People Health and Development strategy.
EVA, with funds from Amplify Change in partnership with adolescents and young people and the Ministries of Health (Benue State Ministry of Health and FCT Primary Health Care Board), worked to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. The ‘Improving Access to Contraceptives for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (IACAG) project addresses factors at various levels (the individual, community and health system) that hinder adolescent girls and young women’s access and use of contraceptives through advocacy and community dialogues.
The project also worked with the state ministries of health to review and create guidelines that recognise and respect AYP’s rights to access family planning and strengthen coordination between AYP, health workers, and health policymakers, and improve the capacity of health providers to deliver SRHR and FP services in a youth-friendly manner.
Through our technology-based platforms (MyQ services), we provide information and referral on Family Planning services to young people.
This was achieved by challenging negative perceptions, improving community understanding, and strengthening the health system (over 45 Family planning providers were trained). Over 80 community leaders were reached, and they gave their support.
Each member was reached with information about contraceptives and other SRH issues. The mentors are women (the ages of 30-35) who were trained in each community and have experience in FP, including the use of contraceptives. EVA also updated its current family planning flipchart, which serves as a working tool for the safe space and club members. 80 Young girls, including mentors, were trained as community-based distributors (CBDS) to provide their peer’s information and family planning commodities. In sourcing for the items and distribution, we partner with FP units of the local government health department and the state health ministry in both states.
A 30-minute documentary was developed, and it featured beneficiaries on the primary and secondary levels, mentors, health workers, community gatekeepers, CBDs, and MDAs at the state and LGA levels on the impact of the project on their lives and the community at large. This documentary highlights the needs brought to light and recommends contraceptive programming for AGYW in Nigeria.