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Group seeks sexual education to bridge gap in reproductive health

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pregnant-belly• National Infertility Awareness Week holds

As Nigeria battles with sexual diseases, experts have said the nation has a huge adolescent reproductive health gap that need to be bridged.

The experts, who made the observation during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) in Lagos recently, said parental guidance would go a long way in bridging the existing gap.

NIAW, which is observed annually globally, was founded by Resolve, a project of the National Infertility Association in 1974.

As part of activities to mark NIAW, the fertility community comes together for one week each year to focus on ensuring that people trying to conceive know the guidelines for seeing a specialist when they are in need of one.

The goal of NIAW, according to organisers, is to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and encourage the public to understand their reproductive health.

Highpoint of the event was tour of the facilities at Medical Art Center.

Speaking during the event, which was held at the Medical Art Center Maryland, Lagos, a fertility specialist, Dr Joseph Akintujoye, stated lack of parental guidance on reproductive health for teenagers might lead to avoidable complications in adulthood.

Although adolescence and young adulthood are generally healthy times of life, several important public health and social problems either peak or start during these years. Because they are in developmental transition, adolescents and young adults are particularly sensitive to environmental—that is, contextual or surrounding—influences, including family, peer group, school, neighborhood, policies, and societal cues, can either support or challenge young people’s health and well-being. Proper parenting, experts said, could make a great difference in these critical times of teenager reproductive health.

Akintujoye said: “There is a need for parental guidance and the ability to discuss sexual matters freely with the younger ones. If parents fail to do these, teenagers tend to learn by trial and error, which could result in gynaecological and obstetric complications in later life…”

‘’During the course of my practice, I have had consultations with a lot of women in their late 30s and early – mid 40s who attributed their present ordeal of infertility to their youthful days. Many have had to engage in unlawful termination(s) of pregnancies.’’



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