Benin City: A youth-led non-governmental organization known as the Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative (CAEYDI) has called on Primary HealthCare Centers (PHCs) to improve on their youth friendly reproductive health services in order to reduce the high rate of unwanted pregnancies prevalent among adolescent and youth in Edo State, saying adolescent are more vulnerable when it comes to unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

Speaking while answering questions from newsmen in Benin City, the Executive Director of CAEYDI Prince Israel Orekha said reports from social mobilizers deployed to three local government areas of Edo south senatorial district, proved that lack of youth friendly centers in the existing PHCs, makes them unaccessible to adolescent and youth.

“We got reports from some social mobilizers deployed to Egor local government area that some adolescents that were referred to Egor PHC, inside the local government Secretariat, Uselu, Benin City, were turned back by staffers of the PHCs, describing the adolescents as ‘spoit children’. Other complain received from Egor included: negative attitude towards those that came to access the facilities; the unavailability of commodities; etc. That information prompted Connected Advocacy into action and as I’m talking right now, commodities have been provided to the PHC.

“We want the service providers in the various PHCs to see adolescent and youth that come to access life planning services, as one of their clients that needed urgent attention. The Challenge Initiative recently trained some service providers on proper integration of youth friendly centers to existing PHCs. The service providers should develop positive attitudinal behaviour towards adolescent and youth that TR to access services.

“At the Central Hospital in Oredo, Benin City, adolescent and youth that visited the facility were asked to pay #500 for pregnancy test. Though it’s a good idea, the price should be subsidized so that adolescent and youth can access life planning services. Clients also complained about the short time the facility apportioned for life planning services. The clients also complained about the negative attitude of some nurses in the facility.

“In Ikpoba-Okha, the situation was not different from the others. As in others, there was unavailability of some of the providers. This easily infuriated some of the adolescent and youth who took out time to visit the facility”, said Prince Israel Orekha.

The Executive Director of Connected Advocacy thereby called for more training of family planning or life planning service providers on positive behavioural disposition towards adolescent and youth that visits their facilities for life planning services. He said the Connected Advocacy was ready to provide the training.