OYO State House of Assembly has called the relevant ministries, departments and parastatals in the state to begin the enforcement and implementation of the state’s Child Rights Law, 2006, to ensure safe sexual and reproductive health practices among teenagers.
The call was contained in a motion moved by the lawmaker representing Ogbomoso North State Constituency, Bimbo Olawumi Oladeji, during plenary, on Tuesday.
The lawmaker also called on parents and other stakeholders to provide necessary support and help for teenagers who are victims of unsafe sexual and reproductive health practice in order to improve their health and general well-being.
Presenting the motion on “Stemming the Tide of Teenage Sexual And Reproductive Health Challenge Through Health Information Education Communication”, Oladeji stated that unsafe sexual and reproductive health practices in Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole has negated goals 3 and 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals as proposed by the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2015 focused on ensuring good health and wellbeing, as well as promoting life-long learning opportunities for all and achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls respectively.
She called for deliberate and conscious efforts towards engendering healthy and safe sexual and reproductive health practices among teenagers and young adults by local, national and international agencies.
Oladeji, who is the Chairman, Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, disclosed that the alarming rate of unsafe sexual and reproductive health practices among teenagers in Oyo State in not only increasing teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases it has also lead to increase in the rate of school drop outs.
She identified inadequate access to health information, lack of adequate education on sexual and reproductive health practices among others as major factors responsible for the practice.
While passing the resolutions, the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin and the House, urged the executive arm of government through the Ministries of Education, Science and Technology, Youth and Sports and Health to embark on progressive health information communication and education programme, aimed at informing and educating the teenagers in the state on safe sexual and reproductive health practices
The speaker also urged them to integrate and prioritise sex education in the school curriculum to keep the teenagers adequately informed about sexual and reproductive issues and establish Health information and Communication Centers with qualified and relevant personnel and resources to provide appropriate support and counseling for teenagers who require supports, as well as partner with international organisations working in the area of sexual and reproductive health education for necessary professional support.