Reproductive Health in Schools

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adolescent in classroom

Adolescents are exposed to multiple risks and opportunities. Up to 70% of premature adult mortality has its roots in the adolescent period. About 60% of abortion complications and deaths are from this age group in Nigeria. In addition, prevalence of HIV and STI is highest in the 15-24 yrs age group. Adolescents lack information about sexuality. Adolescents need safe and supportive environment to develop to their full potential. 

The federal ministry of Health in Higeria has been active in promoting adolescent health through policies addressing important aspects such as the reproductive health. However the implemetation of this policy is very poor. The school administration is usually reluctant to do much about the reproductive health of the students to avoid allegations of promoting sexual behaviour in the students. There is also a lack of monitoring and enforcement of the policy by the Federal ministry of health. 

It is therefore advocated that the various components of this policy should be implemented accordingly by the  stakeholders to improve the reproductive health of the young people in the population. This will help reduce mortality and morbidity from reproductive health related complications.

The WHO is currently working on this aspect and has been able to achieve training of teachers as counsellors on adolescent health, and supporting the printing and dissemination of IEC materials on adolescent health and also supporting incorporation of integrated management of childhood illness strategy into the curricula of two categories of basic health institutions (schools of nursing and health technology-community health workers), and teaching of IMCI in eight schools from eight states in the country

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3 Responses to “Reproductive Health in Schools”

  1. maggiebp Says:

    A major public health concern of mine involves the reproductive health of adolescents, so I very much appreciate this posting. Adolescence is such a critical time in every sector of the global population–it signifies maturation to adulthood and growing independence. Yet it encompasses a gray area, where the adolescent is increasingly gaining the skills to make his or her own decisions but is still considered a child by many societal standards. This is where difficulties surrounding reproductive policy development arise. Adolescents need to learn how to protect themselves as they enter into intimate relationships, but many national policymaking bodies that reflect widespread societal opinions struggle to shield their adolescents from “learning too much” about sexuality and reproductive health, thus complicating development of reproductive health programs. Especially in areas where prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high, it is essential that programs exist to deliver transparent education while striking the balance of taking local beliefs into consideration. The fact that the WHO is being proactive in training Nigerian teachers in adolescent health is a big step, and hopefully thorough reproductive education will be provided.

  2. luesther Says:

    It is unfortunate that we can’t seem to move beyond this. In the US as well, we seem to moving backwards on the issue of adolescent education. Discussing reproductive health with a teen is no more likely to encourage sexual behavior than asking a depressed person if they are thinking of committing suicide. We do a real disservice to our teens by pretending teen sex isn’t going on. It borders on negligence to put teens at such risk for developing HIV and other STDs

  3. mbrown2011 Says:

    This is an area where education can make all the difference in the outcome. The issue is truly more than educating adolescents about reproductive health. Educating the teens and pre-teens will hopefully lay the foundation for better informed adults in the future. The second area where education and changes in beliefs are needed are at home. Many practices to prevent pregnancy and cure STI’s are based upon tradition and what has been learned from generation to generation. Education at home in addition to education of the adolescents would likely bolster success for future reproductive health.

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