By Dipo Olowookere
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has formally opened the ‘Young Moms’ clinic in the state.
This is part of his administration’s efforts to implement various intervention programmes aimed at reducing maternal, neo-natal and perinatal mortality in Lagos.
The facility is the first of its kind in Nigeria and West Africa and is targeted at providing necessary healthcare services for pregnant teenagers and their offspring.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr Olufemi Onanuga who declared the centre open, noted that the initial assessment, before a pilot study conducted in Lagos Island, revealed that teenagers’ knowledge about reproductive health in the community was very poor and that there was limited access to contraceptives for prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
“So to bridge this gap and address these issues, this ‘Young Moms’ clinic was piloted last year in Lagos Island Local Government Area. The results of the test have confirmed that the initiative is laudable and result oriented,” the Governor’s aide explained.
He said that since unprotected sèx leads to unintended pregnancy amongst young people, the initiative of a specialized clinic dedicated to providing unique services to adolescent pregnant girls such as the ‘Young Moms’ became necessary.
Mr Onanuga noted that teenage pregnancy rate in the country is alarming and has become a major health issue because of its harmful implications on girls’ physical, psychological, economic and social status.
He opined that a teenage pregnancy prevents girls from attaining their full potential due to the stress associated with nursing care, hence the need to create an environment for adolescent mothers to attain set goals despite early motherhood.
Mr Onanuga added that the state with the assistance of its partners will not relent in its efforts towards ensuring that similar clinics are replicated in all the Local Government Areas in the state.
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