SBF seeks better chances for adolescents

Sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe induced abortion and abstinence are some of the topics discussed at the just concluded Adolescents School Programme (ASP) organized by Sephamid Bridge Foundation (SBF) in Ilejemeje community high school, Iye Ekiti on 29th July, 2016.

The coordinator of the programme for Sephamid Bridge Foundation SBF, Mr Temidayo Ayeni said “The aims and objectives of the Adolescents School Programme (ASP) is to educate and sensitize the students on the best health practices in preventing cases of teenage pregnancy, substance and drug abuse, dropping out of school among others while urging the students to see themselves as change agents to transform Nigeria.

SBF has been in the forefront of creating and securing a better future for adolescents in order to enhance their life-chances.

Despite being Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria proportionately spends very little on its youths. Mariam Peters, a microbiologist, who anchored the topic `Self Esteem’ at the Adolescents School Programme explained that self-esteem is the beliefs and feelings that one has about oneself. “It affects motivation, attitude and behaviour. However, she encouraged the students to enhance their self-esteem by identifying their strengths and weaknesses, set realistic goals among others”.

Students of Ilejemeje Community School, Iye-Ekiti during SBF Adolescent School Program

One of the teachers of Ilejemeje community high school Iye Ekiti, Mr Jolasinmi Olalekan who dwelt on the issue of STIs described the consequences of going into sexual activities early in life as psychological and emotional injury, sexually transmitted infections, out of wedlock child bearing, becoming teenage mother and the likes. Olalekan said “Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as infections passed primarily by sexual contact with an infected person and it usually causes infertility, cancer, chronic illness, damage of the body system. Olalekan who also teaches chemistry in the school mentioned syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDs, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), as major examples of STIs, emphasising that students should abstain from sexual activities to avoid contracting these deadly infections.

Every year, in the world, about 42 million women with unintended pregnancies choose abortion and nearly half of these procedures 20 million are unsafe. Some 68,000 women die of unsafe abortion annually, making it one of the leading causes of maternal mortality. Olusola Arinola, a chemistry graduate who spoke on the topic, said “Girls should steer clear of premarital sex because it’s the major cause of unwanted pregnancy as it could leads to death if not properly managed”

While encouraging that students to shun drug abuse, Mr Temidayo Ayeni stated that “Substance and drug abuse is deadly and costly to life and that it includes addiction to alcohol, and other illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroine, Indian hemp, marijuana and other hard drugs. Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances.

SBF has stepped up its intervention in order to mitigate the risk adolescents’ face. Its swift intervention is part of global efforts to stem the tide of negative issues associated with public health in adolescent girls. According to World Health Organization WHO, adolescents are a critical target population with regard to influencing global public health outcomes. SBF is reaching out to local communities in her advocacy programme and plans to extend the programme to other local governments in the state and make impact in the most marginalised areas.

With SBF, one thing is evident, improving the lives of adolescent school students.