May 29, 2018

Providing Contraceptive Information to Adolescents and Young People on Campus

A student demonstrating how to use the male condom
A student demonstrating how to use the male condom

Thank you for coming to our school, I have really learnt so much, I saw the female condom for the first time. Ramsey, Male 21years

I am usually shy to talk to people about my reproductive health, especially about menstruation. I really appreciate your help. Tiama, Female 17years

3.1 million Nigerians are living with HIV and half of this figure living with HIV are Adolescents and Young People (AYP) aged 15 – 24 years. According to Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, men are more knowledgeable about preventing HIV than women. More than half of women (54%) and 70% of men that took part in the survey knew that using condoms and limiting sexual intercourse to one uninfected partner can reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Also, from a literature review of AYP on sexual and reproductive health, 15 – 24 years, 16% females versus 6% males had their first sexual intercourse before age15, and that 22% of male and 11% of female youth (15-24) reported using condom at first sexual intercourse. 

In our quest to empower more adolescents and young people with accurate and non-judgmental sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information to help them make informed decisions, we participated in this year’s University of Abuja 3-days trade fair. Our objectives were to educate and provide the participants with factual sexual and reproductive health information through one-on-one discussions, distribution of educative materials, and demonstration of the correct use of both the male and female condoms. Apart from providing the participants with accurate SRH information during the three days fair, we also distributed free male condoms, branded t-shirts, notepads and water bottles to interested students.

In total, 1000 students between the ages 15-24 were provided with accurate information on SRH as well as the demonstration of the correct use of male and female condoms. They were also sensitized on how to get SRH information, counseling and linkage to youth-friendly services through the use of MyQuestion service and Mobile apps. 82% of the females reached were young people between 15-24years, while males were 77%. 31% of the questions asked were on sexual and reproductive issues including HIV and sexual relationships. 44% wanted to know more about the service.

You our donors made all of these possible through your kind donations, we truly appreciate your support.

Female condom demonstration.
Female condom demonstration.
Students learning how to use a contraceptive.
Students learning how to use a contraceptive.
Mar 1, 2018

Providing HIV prevention Information through mobile technology

Young people participating in an Energizer
Young people participating in an Energizer

HIV prevention through mobile technology

"Can I get HIV if a person who is infected with HIV cuts himself or herself and puts the blood in food?"

"If mosquito bites a person who is infected with HIV and then bites me will I get HIV?"

"I am HIV positive and I don’t know what to do…"

"If someone has HIV, how would they feel?"

Can I get HIV if I share clothes with an HIV infected person?

These are typical question concerning HIV received on the MyQuestion service platform.

New HIV infections among adolescents and young people are not declining as quickly as among other age groups. Although major advances have been made in almost every area towards the response to HIV related issues, progress for adolescents and young people is still falling behind. The interest of adolescents and young people in technology has peaked with the introduction of mobile phones, internet and social media. Many HIV interventions focusing on adolescents and young people are increasingly incorporating technology-based platforms to reach more and diverse youth populations.

However, in Nigeria, HIV prevalence among adolescents aged 15-19 is estimated to be 2.9%, and 3.2% among young people aged 20-24. Young women are the most affected by HIV with 3.7% of those aged 20-24 living with HIV, compared to 2.4% among their male counterparts.

Over the years, the MyQuestion service have received a lot of questions revolving around HIV/AIDS from adolescents and young people. It has continued to provide factual information on these issues.

This time, in commemoration of the 2017 World AIDS Day, the MyQuestion Service team carried out various activities in the last quarter through educative posts like HIV risk reduction tips on Facebook, facts about HIV/AIDS through bulk SMS, and interactive sessions with adolescents and young people. All of these activities were conducted to debunk myths surrounding HIV/AIDS to help reduce new infections among adolescents, and to provide information on HIV prevention. They were educated about where to get tested, and people who tested positive were linked to treatment sites. The aim of these activities were to encourage health-seeking behaviors among adolescents and young people.

Also, an adolescent and youth ‘HANGOUT’  enlightening them about their rights to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and sexual and reproductive health services was carried out. 152 adolescents and young people drawn from different schools and communities participated in the hangout. The event provided accurate information on HIV prevention and transmission. It also addressed questions and concerns that were raised by the young people. Young people expressed themselves and their talents through poem recitations, dances and a short play.

Following the various activities carried out around this period, we received a significantly increased number of questions around issues on HIV/AIDS from adolescents and young people. We had a 183.8% increase in the number of questions received around basic facts about HIV, its prevention, transmission, treatment etc. Specifically, there was a 160% increase in questions around basic facts about HIV, 289% about HIV transmission, 83% around HIV Prevention, and 227.3% on HIV testing services, when compared with the previous quarter.

Daily, we provide factual and confidential information to adolescents and young people through your charitable contributions. We are truly thankful for your donations.

Young People Taking HIV Knowledge Assessment Test
Young People Taking HIV Knowledge Assessment Test
A Young Girl Asking Question
A Young Girl Asking Question
Young People Making a Dance presentation
Young People Making a Dance presentation
Dec 1, 2017

Empowering Girls To Take Charge of Their Reproductive Health

A teenage girl asking a question.
A teenage girl asking a question.

Every year, October 11th is celebrated as the International Day of the Girl Child, in recognition of the rights of girls and the unique challenges they face around the world. This year’s theme was Empower Girls: Before, During and after Crises.

During crises girls are faced with numerous challenges such as child marriage, rape, sexual violence and are unable to complete their education. We seized the opportunity to reach out to girls in various settings including girls in-school, and out-of-school, through radio and social media platforms to talk about the issues and opportunities through which girls can be empowered and protected from violence. Our focus was on access to information and education through self-awareness, importance of sexuality education and how accurate information helps to protect girls from violence and exploitation.

The EVA team visited three schools to educate girls on sexual and reproductive health and provided them with basic tips to prevent abuse and exploitation. More than 680 girls were reached. All sessions were participatory and provided the girls with the opportunity to ask  questions and get accurate information.  The interactive nature of the discussions made some of the girls share personal experiences  about how family, society and religion have poised as a barrier to achieving their full potentials. Below are some of the personal experiences shared

A 14 year old girl said "I wanted to participate in sports but my parents discouraged me saying that it's not good for girls to participate in sports

Another girl said that she wanted to lead the young readers club in her school but was told she could not lead because she is a girl.

The girls were encouraged after we asked them to share  women they looked up to, we also shared examples of women who broke the mold and accomplished great things. They were reminded that being girls could not stop them from being who they wanted to be now and in the future. 

Assessment conducted during the interactive session to know how the young girls get information about their sexual and reproductive health, they mentioned different sources such as their mothers, sister, siblings, friends, internet and books etc.

60% of the girls said they got information about their sexual health and relationships from friends because they believe their friends understand them better and may not judge them. However, they also mentioned that sharing information with friends or peers is usually not confidential. We used the opportunity to talk to them about the MyQuestion service which is a safe space that provides them with accurate, confidential and non-judgmental information and services.

We got positive results from our activities as there was an 11% increase in the number of adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 11 – 19years who have used the MyQuestion Service to access sexual and reproductive health information when compared to the last quarter.

Below are testimonials shared by the some of the girls who accessed the plaform for sexual and reporductive health information.

"Thanks for what you have done for us, we really appreciate you people for the knowledge you have given to us. My Regards" .Female 15years Abuja.

Thank you very much for being able to answer all my question, i have learnt more about how to take care of my menstrual health. Female 15 Lagos.

Girls have many concerns as it relates to their sexual and reproductive health, relationship and social needs. Through the Myquestion Service we have be been providing them with the information they need to make inform decisions and overcome certain social challenges they may face in their everyday life. We were able to achieve this and many more through your kind donations we truly appreciate your support.

Thank You!

Facilitating interactive session with the students
Facilitating interactive session with the students
A teenage girl sharing her personal experience.
A teenage girl sharing her personal experience.
 
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