Stakeholders in the health sector and youth have kick-started processes of drafting strategy document to empower adolescents and young people in Anambra state to receive full reproductive health care services and rights across health centres in the state as contained in existing National policies.
Speaking at the strategy drafting meeting organised in Awka, the state capital, by the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) in collaboration with the Anambra State Ministry of Health, the Country Director of IYAFP, Ms Hawa Obaje, explained that the document would provide a legal framework for protection of rights of youth and adolescents to access medical care services like family planning.
She said the document would identify opportunities to strengthen the policies based on evidence best practices.
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, adding that after drafting the strategy document, they would support, monitor and follow it up to ensure it’s fully implemented for overall good of the state.
Also speaking, Miss Ijeoma Ikeanyionwu, the Gender Based Focal person for Anambra state, noted that the strategy document would empower health care providers to address plights of the youth and adolescents reproductive health services including gender based rights without fear or biased mind, thereby eradicating gender based violence, unsafe abortion, HIV, and others.
Ikeanyionwu, who also represented the Adolescent and youth Development unit in the Ministry of Health, said the office would intensify sensistisation 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 was 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 address the plights of the youth and adolescents.