From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As part of a deliberate strategy to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies in the state, a Kaduna-based non-governmental organization called the Gender Awareness Trust (GAT) with support from PathFinder International last weekend held a sexual and reproductive health campaign in Down Quarters in Kaduna South State Local Government Area.
The campaign which was conducted in a town hall within the community brought together adolescent girls, women of childbearing age, youth, community leaders, religious leaders, traditional leaders, politicians, government officials and community leaders. other main actors.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, GAT Executive Director Dr Lydia Umar said development had become necessary to overcome identified barriers preventing women of childbearing age within the community from accessing services. sexual and reproductive health services such as family planning methods, even when the services are available within their reach.
“The key was to make sure that we identify and remove barriers that prevent women from getting sexual and reproductive health services in facilities, especially the one they have here.
“Sometimes it’s mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who prevent women from accessing services like family planning because they think the process will prevent them from having children. We told them that was wrong because family planning is for women to have space between pregnancies for their own benefit. We want them to be healthy and alive to take care of their children.
“We are glad that we were able to get support from our stakeholders based on the issues highlighted in the short advocacy document we shared with them so that we can all be on the same page in this about improving the health needs of mothers,” she says.
“We will support you in any way we can. We will do this through preaching, teaching and other means to ensure that our girls and women are educated on sexual and reproductive health services,” he said.
Also speaking, Imam, Down Quarters, Mallam Muhammad Abdullahi said: “I support this campaign in our community and want to urge our girls and women of childbearing age to use the primary health care center within from the community. .
“I don’t support abortion. So even if you have an unplanned pregnancy, seek help at the health center instead of going for an abortion”.
On his part, Usman Isah, Labor Party candidate for Makera constituency, Kaduna State House of Assembly, thanked the visiting team for bringing advocacy and awareness to the community.
“We won’t forget that. We’ll tell others who aren’t there and you can always come back for research in the future,” he remarked.