Save the Children International (SCI) has said that over 100,000 married and adolescents and very young adolescents have graduated from its safe space programme.
The feat, which was achieved through its Reach and Empowering Adolescents to make informed choices for their Heath in Nigeria (REACH project). The project also improved their knowledge on the access and utilization of Safe Reproductive Health (SRH) services, Personal hygiene, understanding gender equality and more.
The Acting Country Director SCI, Shanon Ward stated this at the closing ceremony of the REACH project in Abuja.
According to her, the project targeted 62 Health facilities providing capacity strengthening to 293 health workers in a series of clinical trainings LARC-Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Prevention and Management of STI Post Abortive care, CLMS -Contraceptive Logistics Management System, FP counseling, Sexual Gender Base Violence (SGBV) and more.
She explained that when the project started in 2018, SCI was worried about the acceptance of an adolescent sexual reproductive health project targeting 10-19 years old but all that has change as in the last 3 and half years the acceptance of the programme has been beyond expectations.
She said it was with the support and consistency of the 3 states governments, the Federal Ministry of Health, LGA stakeholders, community leaders, religious and traditional leaders, parents and adolescents boys and girls that they have made great strides towards accomplishing the objectives of the project.
She said the project had directly indirectly reached 183,164 people through its various approaches.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, explained that the ministry through the Department of Family Health in collaboration with Save the Children with funding support from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) implemented a three year REACH project in Gombe, Katsina and Zamfara States.
The minister explained that the aim of the intervention was to improve young people’s access to Gender Responsive Quality Sexual and Reproductive Health Services and Right in 300 communities across six LGAs from the three selected States.
Ehanire said it is fully in line with our vision and priorities of improving access to quality health care and attainment of UHC leaving no one behind.
He said the Save the Children Nigeria through the REACH project has contributed its quota to the growth and development as well as the general well-being of Nigerian adolescents and young people especially the girl child.
He said there is no doubt that the project has within three and half years achieved the set objectives in impacting young women and girls positively in the following areas: child marriage, early childbearing, educational attainment, gender-based violence, decisions ability and access/utilization of services and improved sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) knowledge.