Category Archives: Health And Adolescent

COMMUNIQUE FROM RIVERS MEDIA FOR HEALTH ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH RELIGIOUS STAKEHOLDERS

The Roundtable discussion between Rivers Media for Health and Religious Stakeholders held on 19 January, 2022 at the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board,  Waterlines, Port Harcourt.

The Roundtable discussion centred on the role of religious leaders in increasing COVID-19 vaccinations to achieve the goal of 50 percent coverage of the estimated population of eligible adults for the vaccination in Rivers State before the end of January 2022.

Present were Christian and Muslim leaders as well as the Permanent Secretary RSPHCMB, Dr. Agba Harry, other officers of RSPHCMB, TCi representative and members of Rivers Media for Health.

OBSERVATIONS: Participants present made the following observations:

1.That there is need for continuous awareness creation to educate and enlighten people about the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic in which Nigeria is in the 4th wave.

  1. The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike was commended for showing good leadership as he was the first to take concrete steps to fight the spread of Covid-19 at the beginning of the pandemic by closing the borders of the State even before the Federal Government and other States took any action. They prayed him to continue with that zeal in the fight against the pandemic.
  2. Although the State has the target of vaccinating 50% of the eligible adults in the estimated population of people in the State, less than 500,000 persons have been vaccinated with either the first, second and/or booster doses of both the Astrazeneca and Moderna vaccine since the vaccination exercise started in March 2021.
  3. Myths, poor behavioural change by key stakeholders, campaign fatigue and ownership by religious leaders were identified as some major challenges of vaccination uptake.
  4. Demonstration of Covid-19 vaccine acceptance by religious leaders was observed to be a major catalyst in making members of their various congregations accept taking the vaccine, with a significantly higher vaccine acceptance observed among the Muslim faithfuls in the State.
  5. Continuous awareness creation with testimonials from people who have survived Covid-19 would be effective in dispelling doubts that Covid-19 is a scam and build trust in government’s efforts in checking the pandemic.

RESOLUTIONS:
Based on various submissions during the discuss at the meeting, the following resolutions were made:

  1. Religious leaders would continue to sensitise members of their congregations on the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic and encourage them to take the vaccines.
  2. Religious leaders can invite and/or inform the RSPHCMB to send Covid-19 vaccination teams to their churches/mosques to vaccinate members who have not taken the vaccines.
  3. Religious leaders should continue to maintain the non- pharmaceutical protocols in preventing the spread of Covid-19 by encouraging wearing of facemasks, physical distancing and handwashing among their congregations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. More critical stakeholders like traditional rulers, engaging Town criers in the education and sensitization efforts in the rural areas were also suggested
  2. Efforts targeting the family unit with the right information about Covid-19 was suggested to help dispel the myths and misconceptions they hold about Covid-19 and the vaccination, as that is the fundamental place where decisions are taken to either accept or reject vaccination.

Karina Igonikon
Smith Nwokocha
Members of the Communique Drafting Committee

PRESS RELEASE ON SOOT SITUATION IN PORT HARCOURT BY ACTION AGAINST SOOT IN NIGER DELTA!

Press Release!

ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta 03 – 01 – 22 PRESS RELEASE

The ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta applauds His Excellency, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Executive Governor of Rivers State on his administration’s resolve to stamp out Soot (Carbon Black) ravaging the State as contained in his New Year’s Speech.

To us as a pressure group with professionals and people from all walks of life, we consider it a welcome development, particularly because the soot situation in the State has gone beyond mere rhetorics to taking action. Soot is not party-friendly; it is a slow killer, affecting both male and female, old and young. Everyone suffers from its damaging consequences – from heart and lung failure to bronchitis, persistent sneezing and coughing that comes out with blood particles and more. It should be on record that Soot (Carbon Black) is threatening our existence as a people.

However, as we reflect on the speech, we are enthused by this stride as the Executive Governor has expressed his concern and went further to empower all Local Government Area (LGA) Chairmen to ensure the discontinuation of illegal refining stations and activities in their respective domains.

Port Harcourt Soot

In addition, we wish to passionately appeal to the government to distribute nose masks and the enforcement of wearing same in schools as an interim measure; not just for prevention of the spread of COVID but also against inhaling a large chunk of the soot particles by our children and teachers as they resume academic activities pending the outcome of His Excellency’s order to end illegal refining activities throughout the State.

At ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta, we are desirous to bringing to an end the Soot menace in the State; and we frankly do hope that the government will go beyond words to taking visible, actionable steps in stamping out soot by ensuring compliance and enforcement of its directives to the LGA Chairmen.

Finally, while we await action of governments at all levels to finding a permanent solution to the ravaging effect of Soot in the region, we want to reassure residents that we shall not rest in this Fight Against Soot; we shall continue to close ranks with relevant authorities until the battle against Soot is won and the Air Quality Index is brought back to normal, 0-50 which is considered good for inhaling as against the current 151 – 200 PM2.5 – which is unhealthy.

Thank you .

God bless Rivers State,
God bless the Niger Delta and Her People.
God bless Nigeria.

Signed:
For: ActionAgainstSootInTheNigerDelta.

Stephanie Ekpebulu Esq.
Benibo Daboye Bourdillon
Oyet Precious Raphael

INSTITUTE OF HUMAN VIROLOGY, NIGERIA (IHVN), CELEBRATES 2021 WORLD AIDS DAY!

Free HIV/AIDS Test session

By Smith Nwokocha of Port Harcourt Wakawaka Blog in an interview with the Communication Liaison officer of IHVN on World AIDS Day!

Questions 1. What is your name, can we meet you?

Wakdet Lawrence, Senior Programme Officer and Communication Liaison Officer, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Rivers State.

Mr. Wadget Lawrence (Snr. Prog. Officer & Comm. Liason Officer, IHVN, Rivers State).

Questions 2. What is the theme for this year World AIDS Day?


END INEQUALITIES, END AIDS through sustainable financing

Questions 3. Is there a relationship between Family Planning and HIV/AIDS?ot directly. HIV/AIDS is a disease while FP or child spacing services are a health option provided for men and women of reproductive age to curb pregnancy or spread of disease. Nothing stops a PLHIV from using FP provided the type of FP offered, especially hormonal ones, do not interact or interfere with their anti-retroviral treatment.

Not directly. HIV/AIDS is a disease while FP or child spacing services are a health option provided for men and women of reproductive age to curb pregnancy or spread of disease. Nothing stops a PLHIV from using FP provided the type of FP offered, especially hormonal ones, do not interact or interfere with their anti-retroviral treatment.

Free Test Exercise on HIV/AIDS

Questions 4. Are there existing healthy preventive measures against HIV/AIDS and how can young people plug in?
Abstinence remains the best option or delayed sexual debut for young people. But for those already sexually active, it is recommended to use the ABC. A for Abstinence. B for Behaviour Change. C for consistent and correct use of condoms. The emphasis is on correct and consistent use which enables people hold the tip of the rubber (allows for seminal collection) while rolling on the rubber on an erect penis.


Questions 5. The Institute of Virology, The Challenge Initiative, CHAI, Ministry of Health, UNFPA, UNICEF among others, what Practical steps has these Institutions made in respect of preventing HIV/AIDS for the good of the society?

IHVN has been in the forefront of HIV prevention, care and treatment for over 15 years. We provide testing services, care and support for adults, paediatirc as well as adolescents and vulnerable children. We conduct a lot of sensitization on radio, community outreaches like during the World AIDS Day and enable mothers attending ante-natal care to access pre and postnatal services that prevents the transmission of the virus to a health unborn child. That is the goal for a HIV-free generation: to place infected pregnant mothers on treatment and the baby on prophylaxis for 6 weeks after delivery. That way, the baby doesn’t get vertical transmission for the virus from mother to child.
Again, IHVN with the support of the Government of Nigeria, Rivers State Government and our foreign partners or donors, we place all infected clients on Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy, HAART to achieve viral suppression and hence, stop the transmission of the virus to sexual partners. This is called the U=U which stands for Undetectable equals Untransmissible.


Questions 6. Final question, how does the rural dwellers benefit from all of these, because they seems to be less informed, owing to a lot of factors to access opportunities?

You know HIV and poverty have a lot of association, even though the virus doesn’t respect age, class, tribe or religion. Currently, community outreaches are going on daily in all nooks and crannies of Rivers State and other States we are providing services. We collaborate with the State Ministry of Health and the Primary Health Care Management Board in providing facility-based testing and treatment. So, most General Hospitals and Primary Health Care Centres provide testing and treatment which we provide.


We have indigenous staff working in the host communities who are able to speak the local dialect and are able to provide advocacy to community gatekeepers such as youth leaders or traditional leaders. That is usually the case before we gain access to the host communities, whether inland or in riverine or water-locked areas where they reside. In fact, we have combed almost every where in Rivers, even Bonny Islands where our presence is felt. We seem to be getting to saturation point as even the positive numbers seem to be reducing. It’s not yet uhuru but it seems we are getting to the level of epidemic control of the virus.

Group Photograph

STOP THE SOOTS CONFERENCE 2021

Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco on the 9-12-2021 organized a Conference in Partnership with NGOs and CSOs tagged “#StopTheSootConference in Rivers State @Horlikins Event Centre.
Opening Remarks by the President, Rtrn Emem Bridget.

Different Stakeholders we’re involved in making this event happen. It is a process not just an event. Solutions will be discussed more . There must be a way we’re victims of Black Soots are brought together into the mix, so that no Stakeholders components will feel left out or threatened. This is not to adopt a security approach not a forced approach, but an Inclusive approach.

The President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco (Rotrn. Emem Bridget) in an Interview Session

THE SOOT EPIDEMIC DYING BY INSTALLMENT by Engr. R. Tombari Sibe PhD, MNSE.
We are talking about health situation here. We are dying slowly as a people in Rivers State .

A brief of an opening Peom:
“Don’t soot me,
I’m innocent,
My Life matters
more than Particulate Matter”.

So, what then is P.M? Particulate Matter is a complex mixture of liquid droplets, such as dust, soot, fumes, matter.

Some Potential Sources:
Activities of Artisan Refineries.
Activities of Heavy Industries.

Intervention Opportunities:
Air Quality Monitoring
Public Health Advisory
Medical Outreach
Environmental Clubs.

Crude Oil Vessel burnt by Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp.

Recommendation:
There should be 12 Air Quality Monitoring Centres. 6 Air Quality Monitoring Team. Regular public Health Advisory. There should be a Sustainable approach to Artisans Refineries.

What Can be done:
Setup Air Quality Monitoring stations in strategic locations.

According to SDN , been involved in the issues of Soots.. “No area in Port Harcourt is as Safe as we thought, but the research shows that no area of Port Harcourt is safe. It was equally discovered that more Soots are found in Port Harcourt South (Borikiri) and Trans Amadi, because of the high bunkering and kpor fire activities, pollution is more, than any other area.

Government should make firm policies that should be enforceable. Generally, the Soots started from the fuse of Modular Refineries, but statistics and presentation so far, has it that, it is as a result of the accumulated burning Refineries that led to Soot outbreak.

The Federal Government is also involved in illegality, So the question is, “Can you use illegality to stop legality”.

Air treatment and Air Quality Monitoring Stations. While, we engage Government and other Stakeholders, we need to also engage the Communities.

THE BLACK SOOT PHENOMENON: CAUSES AND EFFECTS ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT… By Dr. Ferdinand Giador…
Black carbon and pollutants from incomplete combination. Consequences of delayed mitigation. Climate and Clean Air Coalition to reduce short-lived Climate pollutants. “Breathe Clean Air! Port Harcourt are you ready? Port Harcourt, we should aspire to breathe Clean Air.

Dr. Ferdinand Giador during his presentation

HYPREP Rep: Emem… He said;. Engagement should move upward to policies Makers and Government.
There should be enforcement of Law. More Advocacy. Continuos Monitoring (Air Quality Monitoring). Hydrocarbon substances should be disposed appropriately.

Dr. Dienye Briggs (Public Health Expert and an Activist). He has been part of #StopTheSoots campaign since 2017. The Kpor Fire Boys are providing solutions, but their activities are causing us a health situation. The position is that, we need to engage these boys and get them involved as Partners.

Gas Flaring and Artisan Refineries. Government sees gas flaring as a revenue generation.

The soot?
It is a fine Particulate Matter from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (hydrocarbon).

Some Complications of Soots:
Low birth weight
Acute respiratory distress syndrome
Congenital malformation.

PREVENTION:
Provision of basic Social amenities such as constant power supply, well equipped hospitals etc.
Government should empower Environmental Agencies.
Stop Gas flaring and modify Artisan Refineries.

Dr. Dienye Briggs emphasizing on the impact of Soots on our health

It was an amazing experience…

StopTheSoots

@Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco
UN Environment Programme
UNEP Major Group of Children & Youth
UN Climate Change
Climate Reality
Đỗ An Thuyên
Eco-network
Sunrise Project
350.org
350.org
350 Africa
World Health Organization (WHO)
World Health Organization African Region
Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria
Rivers State Ministry of Health
Rivers State Government.

Some Audience at the Event
Some Participants at the Event
Participants At the Photo Gallery

4TH QUARTER ADOLESCENT YOUTH PROGRAMME (AYP) TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP (TWG) AND FAMILY LIFE HEALTH EDUCATION (FLHE) DISSEMINATION MEETING @ RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE HALL

The Technical Working Group and FLHE Teachers

TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP FOR ADOLESCENT MEETING

Held at the Rivers State Ministry of Justice Hall.

  Thursday 2nd December, 2021. Exactly, at 9:00am.

The focus of the meeting was to share update(s) of the final copy of the harmonized action plan, to plan for the 2022 International Adolescent Health Week and to disseminate FLHE finding from SOME implementation.

The meeting was moderated by Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma; Opening prayer was taken by Mrs. Edith Chinago Francis of C.S.S Okom and then, introduction of participants.

Opening remarks by Chairperson (Prof. Akani): appreciates the Technical Working Group for their efforts dealing with the Federal Ministry of Health and its now time to focus back to work and teachers present in today’s meeting are welcome. Teachers are very important, for them to deal with the Adolescents, therefore, we are looking at Teachers as Role Models and helpers that changes the personality of Adolescents for good. The Chairperson urged all Teachers to be part of the discussion and encouraged the Technical Working Group to see other dimension of Adolescent issues. It is not the division, but synergy between the Ministries (Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education). We see that every child belongs to everybody.

Prof. Nwadiuto Akani (Chairperson TWG) in her opening remarks

The reading of the Minute; was done by Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma. Hence, the minute was moved as a working document for the Adolescent working group by Mrs. Joy Nwamaka Joseph and seconded by Captain Dabota.

Sometimes in October, the FMOH (Federal Ministry of Health) visited the State to strengthen the issues the Adolescents face and to achieve this (during the meeting with FMOH, some issues were identified that Adolescents faces, one of such issue is; 1) Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion. So, how do we mitigate and solve this issue, apart from identifying the challenges. There are implementing partners to ensure these objectives are achieved through the stipulated strategies. There three major concerns for the Adolescents, which are: 1) Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion. 2)Rise in Cultism 3) Prevalent Drug Abuse among Adolescent.

Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma (Desk Officer For Adolescent) Moderating the Meeting

Mrs. Njideka of the Federal Ministry of Education suggested, that Ministry of Education should be actively involved in the Technical Working Group and some Schools have Health Facilities, such facilities should be made Adolescent friendly centres.

Chairperson added that, we are trying to see what we can focus on to reduce the challenges Adolescents face, also participating persons/reps, should ensure that information at the Technical Working Group is taking or reported back to their organizations. We are not working in isolation; we are working with anybody and everybody.

Mr. Dennis, added, if we want to talk about “Cultism”, we should know that school’s cultism is different from cultism outside school premises. We have to strategically position advocacy to the leaders of these cult groups.

The Chairperson responded: we need to have “Parental Engagement”, talk to our parents, so that they can talk to the consciences of their children. And then, work-out strategies to talk to those involved in Cultism (the cultists themselves), so that they don’t attack back. First, we need God and then, we need Parents to be bold.

Mrs. Njideka (Federal Ministry of Education) making valuable contributions

One of our colleagues added that, we have identified Parents and Cult Leaders, next, we need to use the Media (Radio) through regular jingles to sensitize the public. Also, Church/Religious Leaders, we need to talk to them as well. In approaching Cult Leaders, we should address them as “Social Organization Leaders or Youth Leader”, let’s be subtle in our approach. Most Cult Leaders are violent and arrogant in nature.

A Contribution from a Teacher; the teacher is bordered about the steady increase in cult activities. We need to give these youths/Adolescents information that will help them, including students and we need to start from grass-roots (primary schools-class rooms).

Chairperson’s response: Teachers are going to be our “foot-solders”, to ensure the goal of eliminating cultism in Rivers State is achieved. “What Teachers give the Society, is what the Society will build on”. And, as it stands, we cannot afford to do without the Education sector which includes the Teachers.

Smith Nwokocha P.RO.2 TWG Sharing insights on fight against Cultism

Mrs. Njideka (FMOE), she emphasized that, we should look at the pressure groups, they have a lot of influences on the Adolescents. Another participant suggested we look at “Social Media”, because a lot of Adolescents spend their time on the phone, browsing and engaging on Social Media.

Smith Nwokocha (P.R.O 2), suggested that; Traditional Rulers should be engaged in achieving the fight against Cultism. Dr. Chidi, was of the opinion that, we form three groups and breakout and discuss these issues.

Furthermore, Dr. Mrs. Smith, added that, in summary, the out-listed plan is the actual plan and we are here to identify any intervention plan to add up to the existing plan.

Dr. Mrs. Smith Iroro (Representing Permanent Secretary-Rivers State Ministry of Health)

Jennifer Amadi (Vice Chairperson), our discussion should be based on the final plan. National Orientation Agency (NOA) Rep; said they are doing a lot and are involved in Community Engagement, Mobilization and Advocacy.

Next on the Agenda is “2022 International Adolescent Health Week”; Mrs. Wendy Wokoma, said, this will happen on the 3rd week of March, 20th – 26th, 2022. Youth Ambassadors will be recruited and the theme is “Transition: Laying Foundation for Adolescent Development”. Plan for screening (HIV/AIDS screening/Mental Health Check) for Adolescents in schools and out of school. Carry out activities to create awareness.

Edidiong Etim (Clinton Health Access Initiative-CHAI) during her presentation

Edidiong and Dr. Mrs. Nwamaka Joseph presented on FLHE Programme (CHAI supported Federal Ministry of Education on the expanded FLHE curriculum in Nigeria).

There are three stages of implementation: Experience in implementing the FLHEs in Schools, The Awareness on HIV/AIDS, to see how the curriculum is accepted in schools and then, the Background, The Expanded CSE Overview.

A pilot study of the Effectiveness of an Expanded Family Life Health Education on Adolescents 10-19years in Rivers State as the case maybe. The highlights were focused on the following; The Expanded CSE Overview, problem statement, background on FLHE Curriculum in Nigeria, study rationale. Then, Study Methodology; Results and Findings, Study Assumptions and Limitations, Success and Challenges, Key Lessons Learned, Next Steps and Recommendations.

Teacher sharing Experience Moments:  

Teacher from C.S.S. Oroworokwu: FLHE Experience; The Principal appreciates the programme and it has been a big-time impact for the students. The students are excited and even when they have personal issues, they meet the Teachers for counseling. Challenges faced; Covid-19 was the core part of the challenges in implementing the FLHE. Generally, the programme has been good. Counseling has improved. The success of FLHE cannot be over-emphasized.

C.S.S Oroworukwo Teachers in the Teacher sharing Experience Session

C.S.S. kom-Kom Teacher Experience: FLHE is a right to every child, looking at what it is giving out. The issue of Cultism, etc, the challenges fall back on FLHE. Success story; students have learnt to develop actual and positive views, especially in the social space (social media). FLHE has helped students to correct these areas, students make healthy decisions, correct information and it has inculcated in them self-esteem and the students now know when to say NO! It has equally helped students to know when to play and when not to play. Possibly, these teachings/FLHE should be extended to other classes of the junior sections apart from the examination classes and the boys should be given attention as well.

Head, Rivers Media for Health and Family Planning; added that, let’s look for 21st century ways to groom our children including our boys. A lot is happening to the Adolescents.

C.S.S. Aluu Teacher Experience: FLHE Programme created awareness among staff and students alike. FLHE sharpens and broaden knowledge of teachers on sexual education.

Edidiong re-emphasized that, discussion should be on continuous learning of FLHE in Schools and also, discuss on improved coordination of Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and other relevant MDAs on Adolescents health in the State.

Chairperson, appreciates all for their contributions. She reiterates that we look out for Sponsors for sustainability of FLHE.  Also, let’s start with “Health Education Compulsory”. Therefore, we need to start by making it compulsory at Teachers Training College. Parents are not responsible for the gap of knowledge sadly enough. Religiously, that’s how parents are groomed. We need to start talking and engaging our religious Leaders, because that’s also where learning starts from.

Chairperson further stretched that teachers also need the skills to be able to teach and impact Adolescents. CHAI can make this representation and the Ministry of Education will maintain it. Also, Conflict resolution needs to be taught to the students. Part of the challenges of Adolescents face, could be traced to “Decision-Making Skills”, they need to be equipped effectively in this area. Skills in decision-making, should be as a matter of urgency, inculcated to our young ones, our society will be sane. However, we should try as much as possible, to get heads of schools to participate and champion this programme for sustainability.

Mrs. Nwamaka Joseph (FLHE Coordinator-Rivers State Ministry of Education)

Mrs. Nwamaka Joseph added that of four (4) states, Rivers state wished to stand alone on the push for FLHE. Most of the teachers, especially those passionate, are doing well, because they have been trained and of course, learnt the methodology in teaching FLHE. If FLHE is actually standing alone, students will be examined and know their stand. As such, FLHE should stand alone and not integrate.

Mrs Njideka further suggested, what we should be doing as a country is to build the capacity of teachers. If FLHE is integrated, it is easier to build capacity for teachers.

Jennifer Amadi’s contribution on the linkage of schools; we can also look at SGBV, though in Rivers State, a lot of NGOs are already doing work in this regard. Helping Schools respond to SGBV issues through Primary Health Centres facilities.

Jennifer Amadi (Vice-Chairperson of TWG giving an input)

Mrs Uloma in her comment, said; we don’t have enough facilities at the Primary Health Centres, unfortunately. Most Adolescents need confidentiality, they need respect and privacy and with these, you can get any information from them. 23 LGA’s in the State, have two (2) to three (3) Focal Persons and they visit schools, but the linkage facilities are still an issue and it’s challenging. Some of the issues, includes; STIs, Post-Abortion issues etc. In the State, we have over 4000 (plus) Secondary Schools and how many Teachers are taught the FLHE Programme/training. The Primary Health Board is ensuring that facilities in the Health Centres are Adolescent friendly.

Mrs. Wendy Wokoma, in her comment; she emphasized that; “Let’s have a positive outlook about Adolescents’ ‘. Let’s see Adolescents as part of the solution. We need to also have data, to be able to evaluate Adolescent performance in relation to linkage.

Mrs Njideka, added that, Students/Adolescents cannot be referred to facilities without consent of their parents/guardian, because there are counselors in the schools, especially, the in-schools for Adolescents.

Edidiong remarks; Most of the feedback(s) are just remarkable.

Chairperson remarks; We still have a problem on how to coordinate the linkage, but we are making headways.

Closing Remarks by Dr. Mrs. Smith; Several issues have been raised. The FLHE Programme and the needs for Facilities. We will start small, but we will get there. We pray for everyone to get to their destination safely. Thank you.

Closing prayer by Mrs. Mary Obisike.

Audience
Dr. Chidi of Institute of Virology asking pertinent questions during the Q&A Session
Mrs. Wendy Wokoma adding thoughts that we should have a positive outlook about Adolescents
Some Technical Working Group Members and FLHE Teachers

IN CELEBRATION OF 16 DAYS ACTIVISM 2021: SENSITIZATION ON SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AMONGST STUDENTS IN RIVERS STATE.

Facilitators and Members of SGBVTWG and MOHII

By: Smith Nwokocha

MOTHER OF HOPE INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVE IN COLLABORATION WITH THE RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH.

PRESENTS: ONE DAY SENSITIZATION ON SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AMONGST STUDENTS IN RIVERS STATE


@COMMUNITY SECONDARY SCHOOL (SENIOR), OKPORO ROAD, RIVERS STATE.
26TH NOVEMBER, 2021 8:00AM.
The team arrived the school premise and kick-start the sensitization exercise. Over 500 students were sensitized on Gender-Based Violence, making the 16 Days Activism. Among the Facilitators, students were divided into groups, because of the large numbers to enable the students participate fully.

Dr. Mrs. Egelege, Mrs. Mary and other SGBVTWG Members and MOHII Team engaging a Survivor


Dr. Mrs. Egelege Aziemeola Pius, Fellow of West African Institute of Public Health Professionals and Fellow of Institute for Humanitarian Studies and Social Development (One of the Key-note Speaker); She asked the big question, why are we here today? Her response was; We are here today to anchor on the theme: “End Sexual Gender-Based Violence among Youths”. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and it runs through 10th December which is Human Rights Day. Statistically, one in four girls will experience sexual violence before she turns 18.

Grouping of Students to aid Sensitization.

WHAT THEN IS GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE:
The United Nations’ definition of GBV is, “any act of gender-based violence that result in, or is likely result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women…whether occurring in public or private life.”
Gender-based violence is somewhat more inclusive term than violence against women. GBV could include violence against men, provided the violence stems from a man’s gender identity or presentation.

Students of Community Secondary School Okporo Road listening to


FORMS OF VIOLENCE:

Sexual Violence:

Physical Violence:

Psychological Violence (also called Emotional or Mental Violence):

Economic Violence:

Some of the Facilitators from MOHII and RMOH


HOW DO WE END GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE?

Recognize the role of gender in violence

Educate yourself on the root causes of violence

Interrupt Sexist and Discriminatory language

Be critical and question

Get the message out

Report photos and messages that exploit women and girls

Interrupt abuse

Stop Sexual harassment

Develop an action plan

Stop victim blaming

It’s not your fault

Stop Rape culture

Call Gender-based violence, what it is- violence, not “bullying”.

Create safe spaces to discuss gender-based violence

Confront and reflect on your ideas and beliefs

Stop stereotyping men’s and women’s roles

Remember that violence is a choice, and it is preventable

Be supportive and believe

Be aware of available resources for girls and women

Be a Mentor

Understand and practice consent!

Smith Nwokocha engaging some students on African Youth Charter Article that protects young people against SGBV.


HELP AFTER RAPE:
The Rivers State Ministry of Health in conjunction with FIDA, Doctors Without Borders and other NGOs like Mothers of International Initiative (MOHII), Voice of The Vulnerables are out to support victims of Rape in Rivers State. Rape victims who receive POSITIVE support from family and friends are more likely to recover faster. Victims of Rape are given free and CONFIDENTIAL medical care and counselling to victims of Rape and sexual violence. If you or someone you know has been raped.


WHERE TO SEEK HELP:
Rivers State Government has put in place some Health facilities to reach and get help. Do not forget that, Rape requires medical emergency, when it occurred, report immediately. The following are the facilities:
Orogbum Health Centre in Ogbunabali near Garrison Bus-stop
Eliozu Health Centre
General Hospital-Ncha-Eleme
General Hospital-Bori
General Hospital-Degema
General Hospital-Ahoada
General Hospital-Isiokpo
Oyigbo Primary Health Centre
Ayama Primary Health Centre Abua

In conclusion, Gender-based violence affects people everywhere. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to violence as cultural norms and attitudes toward gender equality disadvantage women around the world. Gender-based violence is especially prevalent when women and girls are migrating.
During the interactive session, Dr. Egelege advocate for the introduction of an SGBV CLUB in the school, as a safe haven for students to discuss sexual violence related matters and she emphasized that the most important is to “Speak out”.


Mrs. Mary Obisike (SGBV-TWG HEAD-RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH): She taught the students the gesture sign of SGBV. She ensures that the fliers (Rivers State Government on Management of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Rivers State) through her team are distributed equally to participating students. This initiative is fully supported by His Excellency, Barrister Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike CON, GSSRS; POS (Africa), Executive Governor, Rivers State, Including the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Rivers State (Prof. Princewill Chike).
Response Hotlines: 09025764565, 070404101523, 09033555455, 07058890060 and 08033429155

Group photograph of SGBVTWG Members and MOHII Team

CELEBRATING 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF LULU BRIGGS FOUNDATION (Free Legal Clinic to aid the Vulnerable)!

By Smith Nwokocha

One-on-one Free Legal Consulting Session

THE FREE LAW CLINIC @ O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation

As part of her 20th Anniversary Celebration!🎉🎊 (5-11-2021)!!

It was a beautiful experience, as the audiences were engaged one on one with a Legal Luminary for advice, counseling or conflicts resolutions on the spot without paying a dime. I experienced a Free Legal Consulting Session With an amazing legal Expert that gave me all the attention and details including my fiancee.

Barr. Nimi Walson in an interview

Thank you and Special Appreciation to the Lulu Briggs Foundation. Well done and keep adding value to humanity.

Fida Nigeria FIDA Rivers
African Women Lawyers Association – AWLA Nigeria
O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation
International Conscience Day
UNFPA UNFPA Nigeria
UNICEF UNICEF Nigeria
United Nations Human Rights
United Nations

NATIONAL POLICY ON HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN NIGERIA: 2021-2025, IN RIVERS STATE!

By: Smith Nwokocha

Technical Working Group For Adolescents (Group photograph)

National Policy on the Health and Development of Adolescents and Young people in Nigeria: 2021-2025, in Rivers State.
Date: 19th – 22nd October, 2021.
Venue: Landmark Hotel
DAY 1: NATIONAL POLICY ON THE HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN NIGERIA: WHAT IT MEANS TO ADOLESCENTS HEALTH IN RIVERS STATE.
Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba, delighted to a large audience at today’s meeting, inspite of the public holiday. Institute of Virology; partnering with Rivers State Government has a five (5) years plan to domesticate the National Policy and the Policy will help us to have a direction. Youth Organizations for Health and Development Initiatives (Emmanuel Worgu);It will give a proper guide and rule for the Adolescents and urge all to participate actively for an impactful document.
Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)-Eddidiong said she is happy that the Government is intentional about the future of the Adolescents.
Gloria Ndujiechi was appointed as a Rapporteur for 20-10-2021.
First presentation on “Policy Presentation (Rationale for Policy, Context for Policy Development, The Process of Policy Development) “…By Joyce Iwatutu-Consultant-
In her words, Joyce, said: In the process of Policy Development, we cannot develop policies without consultation and people who design programmes for the Adolescents are key. In defining who an Adolescent is, she said; Adolescent is a critical stage- a transformational stage where a Child begins to take decisions. It is pertinent to have a document and invest in our Adolescent for them to have direction. Citizens of Nigeria, Adolescents occupy 1/3 (one-third) of the Nigerian population. The essence of the Policy Development gives us a priority needs/investment in Adolescents. The National Policy developed in 1995, 2007 – 2010 – 2019. Target Population: In 2007 National Policy. Age 10-24 years determines a young person according to the United Nations, while age 10 – 29 years determines a young person (local content-Nigerian perspectives).
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was considered in the definition of the Rights of this target population. The Constitution of Nigeria assures the Rights of every Citizens to health and development. This Policy considers the Rights of the Adolescents and young persons in the highest standard. It ensures that young women can have access to post-Abortion services, Family Planning. Nigeria is a signatory to the Regional Treaties. The National Adolescent Health and Development Technical Working Group (NAHDTW) proposed for a revised National Policy through the Federal Ministry of Health Revised National Policy 2018.
Major Stages of Policy Development:
Situation Analysis.
National Stakeholders Policy Workshop.
Engagement of an experienced National Consultant and Production of an Initial Draft of the Policy Document.
Stakeholder’s review of the Initial Draft of the Policy and Revision of the Initial Draft.
Finalization and National Adoption of the Draft Policy Document.
Final Approval Processes.
The Policy process started in 2019 and because of the covid-19 in 2020, it was not adopted, but has been adopted in 2021 at a Conference in Abuja. Adolescents are a diverse group, based on differences by sex, age, wealth, education, ethnicity etc. Tomorrow’s Agenda will be to discuss about the ”’The Situation Analysis” and Attendees will be divided in groups for focused discussion.
Age of Consent has always been an issue for the Adolescents. Education is a major determinant of Adolescent’s health and HIV is a major health and development concern relating to young people in Nigeria.
Issues identified by Attendees/participants includes:
Teenage Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion
Drug and Substance Abuse
Cultism and Violence among Adolescent and young people.
Establishment of Adolescent Friendly Centres and people that should manage the facilities are Psychological Clinical Person and Social Workers.
During the Consultative Global Health Conference, GBV, Inequality, Empowerment issues were addressed.
Societal Enablers:
It’s a new term used to define programmes (like Education) designed for young people. Societal Enablers shouldn’t be left out when discussing issues affecting young people.
A participants added that 3-11 years is Character Moulding age/stage in Children.
PART 2
POLICY DECLARATION AND GUILDING PRINCIPLES: STRATEGIC TARGETS; ROLES OF STAKEHOLDERS IN THE ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
Young people as a vital resource for a sustainable future and national development.
Right Based Approach.
Diversity of Adolescents and young people’s needs and situation.
Gender equity and responsiveness
Cultural sensitivity
Participatory and Consultative Integration of Services.
Life-Course Approach
Evidence-Based and Innovation Driven.
Quality-Focused and result oriented.
Policy Declaration: The Government (FGN);
Investment in the health and development of Adolescents and other young people shall be prioritized in the National Agenda.
This Policy shall be complementary to other National Policy Documents.
Young people, themselves have the right and duty to lead as well as to participate individually and collectively referred in the planning of implementation, and evaluation of health and development programmes for young people.
All Stakeholders and development partners, including Government and her Institutions, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector as well as international development and Organizations.
An enabling environment will be created and relevant implementation frameworks, including a Strategic framework, an action plan and a costed monitoring.
VISION, MISSION AND GOALS!
Vision: A Healthy Life and Optimal Development for all Adolescents and Young people in Nigeria and Successful transition towards a healthy, active, productive, successful, and fulfilled Adulthood.
Strategic Objectives:
Reduce morbidity, disability, and preventable mortality rates.
Strengthen capacity of the health systems and its linkage with the health sector.
Roles of Stakeholders in the Adoption and Implementation of the Policy:
For Media: Role of Stakeholders-involves informing, educating the Adolescents on the policy. Example; Sex Education, etc via Radio and other channels. Media can project budget financing- Media plays a key role in accountability.
Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning to ensure a budget line/allocation for the Adolescents programmes flies.
Ensure Teachers gives correct information for Adolescent care- (Education Sector).
Ensure we have a workable Policy that is implementable and ensure the Adolescents in Rural areas will also have access to these.
Religious Leaders should be engaged; a lot of Adolescents are influenced through Spiritual growth; The Churches/Mosques matters.
Faith Based Organizations helps Adolescents meets needs.
To design an informed programmes for the Adolescents.,
Start designing Employability Skills for Young People to take them out of Poverty.
In conclusion, the work of CSOs, Stakeholders present is very important and it counts no matter how small.
Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo (Consultant for Adolescents) added; Everything we do in our space comes together to make a whole lot of difference. What we are doing, is to lay a huge foundation for what is to come… let’s see this, as an investment of stating our opinions.
Prof. Nwadiuto Akani added, this period, Teachers are more in charge of the Children, Parents are not and it’s important to know what to do and what not to do. Research: Without research, we can’t achieve more, but for we to do research, we need an effective data and this will drive the process of Policy implementation. When we talk of Situation Analysis, we want to look at realities and tackle the situation on ground without sentiment. Career Counselling should be left open for young people. Young people need training on “Skills in Decision-Making”. Traditional Rulers should be carried along in issues of the Adolescents.
Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba, moderated the meeting and did the Closing remarks. Closing Prayer was taken by Igoni Agnes.

Breakout Session

Organizers: Rivers State Ministry of Health and Partners.

Participants: RSMOH-Rivers State Ministry of Health
MYD-Ministry of Youth Development
MSWR-Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation
CSOs-Civic Society Organization
CBOs-Community Based Organization
RIVSACA-Rivers State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDs
RIV-CISHAN-Civil Society on HIV/AID in Nigeria
IHVN-Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria
NOA- National Orientation Agency
FIDA- International Federation of Women Lawyers
NPF- Nigeria Police Force (Police Medicals)
UPTH- University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital
RSUTH-Rivers State University Teaching Hospital
Rivers media for health and family Planning
RIV-NYNETHA-Youth Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter
RSPHCMB-River State Primary Health Care Management Board.

Rivers state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.

Nigerian Police Force (Medicals) NPF.

MEETING REPORT ON DAY 2: REVIEW AND CONSULTATION WITH STAKEHOLDERS WHO WORK AROUND ADOLESCENT HEALTH @LANDMARK HOTEL, 20-10-2021.
Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba, started the meeting around 10:00am and welcomed all participants present and appealed for attendees to be conscious of time, and she called for an opening prayer, and Rev. Felix Ekiye, volunteered to take the opening prayer.
The Recap for Day 1 was well reported by Gloria Ndujiechi, observations were made by Mrs. Jenewari Utomi, she pointed the omission of Rivers Media for Health and Family Planning and other omissions which includes contribution by Prof. Akani, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board among others were rectified and captured.
The Presentation Proper for Day 2:
Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo (Consultant of CHAI), did a sound and detailed presentation on the “Overview of Situation Analysis for Adolescents and Young People (AYPHD) Policy Domestication and Implementation Plan in Rivers State” and he was very thorough and engaging with participants.
One of the outlined Objectives of the Situation Analysis, is that, it’s focused on achieving and describe the current state of affairs on the health and development of Adolescents in selected states (Rivers State inclusive). Methodology used, involves; Desk Reviews and Primary Data Collection. Demographics: -Population-Young people (10-24 years) are about 2,616,384 accounting for about 50% of the State’s population. -Educational rate in Rivers increased access to education among females-over 8% enrollment for girls. Completion rate low. Health Status and Risk Factors: -Nutrition, Non-Communicable Diseases, Alcohol Consumption. Mental Health: -Mental disorders, Depression, Substance Use Disorder, Suicide (success) etc. Violence and Injury: Violence continue to be the highest reason for injury and mortality among Adolescent etc. Sexual and Reproductive Health: Relationship status, Sexual debut, Risky Sexual behaviour, Adolescent Maternal Health. Mortality: Accidents, Maternal deaths among Adolescents, Abortion related complications. HIV: HIV Test, FLHE Implementation.
Adolescents Health Programming and Systems Response: AYFHS, Government facilities-11, private-0, Systems: – AHD Desk officer –yes, Functional TWG-yes, FLHE Desk officer-yes etc.
Primary Data:
Priority Measurement: – Priority Areas for Monitoring in AHD, Established Monitoring Systems, Established Monitoring Systems for AHD Health Care delivery, Access to AYFHS, Data: disaggregated by age, Data: disaggregated by sex.
In closing the session, Dr. Emmanuel asked some pertinent questions and they are as follows:
Q1. What should the State prioritize for implementation?
Q2. What Strategies should be employed?
Q3. What opportunities exists within the State, that can be harnessed?
He then reflected on yesterday’s (19-10-2021) document as follows:
Monitoring and Evaluation on Adolescents and Young People in Nigeria:
Programmatic Areas: – Sexual and reproductive etc.
Indicators: – 19 Core indicators, 15 Additional indicators and 156 Thematic indicators.
Monitoring Process: -Community systems to PHCs to L.G.A’s to States to FMOH to National Bureau of Statistics.
Monitoring Tools: -Supportive supervisory, National scorecard, Sub-National scorecard, The Implementation Plan, The priority Areas…
Contributions were made by Mrs. Lynda Nwankwoala , she said, there should be synergy among NGO’s working on Adolescent and youth friendly projects. Some valuable contributions were made by Dr. Okari Iyowuna, Mr. Otobo, Dr. Chidi, Wendy Wokoma, Emmanuel Worgu, Catherine and Rev. Felix Ekiye.
Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo, re-emphasized on proffering Solutions, before then, he said; “One of the major challenges of Health system and Implementing partners is working in siloes ” and the solution is simply working together. “If we can shift from sentiment-based services to right based services, that will accommodate Adolescents in the facilities without judgment and biases”. Integration of the services is what will work in our system. Adolescents are Adolescents everywhere in the world, just as Parents are Parents everywhere in the world. In conclusion, he said: Make sure Advocacy is not just information based, but with a proof of an edge to show the benefits of Advocacy. “Do Advocacy beyond information and it should be target based.”
Breakout session for Group Exercise: We had five (5) groups and a work plan was developed at the end of the day. National Implementation plan will be looked at tomorrow (21-10-2021).
Closing remark by Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba, thanked everyone for their contributions and active participation to make Rivers have a Working document and Mrs. Inyingi Blessing Morgan Ogolo volunteered for closing prayer. The meeting came to an end around 4:00pm
Rapporteur: Smith Nwokocha.

REPORT ON DAY 3: REVIEW AND CONSULTATION WITH ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG PERSONS, YOUTH LEADERS, AND YOUTH-LED ORGANIZATIONS/INITIATIVES WHO WORK AROUND ADOLESCENT HEALTH.
@LANDMARK HOTEL
TIME: 10:00AM
Opening prayer for the day was taken by Alhaji.
Recap for Day 2 was presented by Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba
And then the Group Exercise kicked off immediately, but before the Group Exercise proper, Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo gave an in-depth insight on ways and how to go about preparing the Work-plan for the day’s activities.
During the Group Exercise, the Deputy Mayor of Phalga L.G.A and Deputy Mayor of Obio-Akpor walked-in and joined the exercise. The Group Exercise, moderated by Mobolaji, who did an awesome job anchoring the session. In responding to Group feedback, Mobolaji, emphasized that, Rape and many other factors can trigger Drug and Substance abuse.
Some valuable recommendations, re-actions and contributions were made by some of the participants, unfortunately, they didn’t introduce themselves. Mobolaji, added in respond to group exercise, he said, “Plans as regards expansion should be made, not just advocacy on FLHE”. Mr. Ezekeil and Adolescent Champion, made a valuable contribution, when he said, “there is so much focus on educating the Girl Child, while the Boy Child is left behind”, the males should be educated as well to stay out sexual abuse of any sort, this will help reduce SGBV.
Mobolaji added, that, it is only in our clime that drugs are sold without prescriptions. On the long run, young people have the rights to access health facilities, including contraception. Wendy Wokoma, made a contribution, that we should look at preventive measures as well and we should do as much we can to educate the TBA’s to better handle issues related to Adolescents that seeks their services.
Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo, made a general comment, reflecting what he said, yesterday. Advocacy as Actors, as we do advocacy, we should put into consideration the Politicians, our Advocacy should be target base. When we think of strategies in preparing the work-plan, we should look at the implementers. Are there systematic things we can do, that do not rely on political will, even in our individual space, how do we orientate the system to ensure, it runs directly without Politics. There are some programmes that are dead in arrival, because the right people were not engaged. Community engagement is key. It’s important we put all these together as we work along.
Tomorrow (22-10-2021), we will look at the feedbacks and make sure the documents are re-assessed, and we will adopt the strategies in principles and then, we close the meeting, hopefully by 1:00pm, we are done. We hope to continue to work together as we work along, even after the meeting, until the final validation of the document and with the help of the participants, we will be able to actualize a document for the Adolescents in 5 years.
Rev. Ekiye Contribution; If the Permanent Secretaries and Commissioners of the Ministry’s present are here with us, we would have made more mile stones in this agenda, so the organizers should persuade these heads of the Ministry’s to show up at least in the final day of the meeting, so that they will be abreast with realities and also see that these policies are good for adoption. Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo, added that, at the stage we are with the documentation, we don’t need certain hierarchy or heads, but at the point of ratification, we will get these heads to be part of the process and they will oblige.
In closing, Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba appreciates everyone for their time and contributions. She emphasized, this documentation must come to light and she specially appreciates the Adolescents for being part of the documentation process. And the closing prayer was taken by Mrs. Mary Obisike. Meeting close around 4:50pm.

National Policy Review Session

DAY 4: REVIEW MEETING FOR THE ADOLESCENT @ LANDMARK HOTEL, 22-10-2021, 10:00AM.
Opening prayer by Mrs. Lynda Nwankwoala.
Day 2 Recap Mrs. Wokoma Wendy.
The meeting was moderated by Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba.
According to Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba, Groups that have not completed their work-plan. Should endeavour to round-up by 12: 30pm.
Joyce Iwatutu, moderated a session of experience sharing by the participants.
Prof. Nwadiuto Akani contributed by emphasizing that; “each young person you see on the street, should remind us that we owe the Adolescents a duty of responsibility”. It is now everybody’s responsibility to transform the state. Adolescents’ health is not much of a physical challenge, but a psyche-social challenge. ”If you are called upon, make sure you represent”.
Joyce-she said, the Technical Working Group, can invite other CSOs not included in this training to support the team achieve the target. Whether, we like it or not, global influences will always have a way of making impact-Advocacy has to be done at global level and move to regional to national. It helps us to hold Government accountable.
Our work is important, no matter the challenges, whether we receive grants or not. No matter how little our work is, it’s important. Competition is good, if it is healthy. Lastly, once the document has gone through the initial draft and are out, let’s all endeavour to comment on the lopholes, if any, that’s the only way we would make progress.
Closing Remarks by Mrs. Wokoma Mbreba; Finally, it has come to an end. Thanked everyone and appreciate the efforts of all the attendees. We will keep sending updates for review, until it is finally ready and validated. Special thanks to Prof. And every Ministries and NGOs, including Faith-based Organizations and of course our amiable Consultants. Closing prayer was taken by Rev. Felix Ekiye. The meeting closed around 3:00pm.

Training Session

PRESS RELEASE BY NIGERIA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION TO MARK INTERNATIONAL GIRL CHILD DAY 2021!

NMA Girl Child Promotion Committee Members from Right: Dr. Vivian Ogbonna, Dr. Omosivie Maduka, Dr. Vetty Agala, Prof. Rosemary Ogu and Dr. Henry Sota Jnr.

PRESS RELEASE by NMA Girl Child Promotion Committee in Collaboration with Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch.
11TH OCTOBER 2021 – INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD 2021

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and celebrate and reinforce humanity’s achievements. The United Nations General Assembly in 2011 adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.

The International Day of the Girl Child focuses on the need to address the challenges girls face and promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. Girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life during their critical formative years and as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

The Theme for this year’s celebration is Digital Generation: Our Generation. We are in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, while also highlighting girls’ diverse digital realities. The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real. …It is an inequity and exclusion gap across geographies and generations that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all, by all.
Digital generation. Our generation. Girls know their digital realities and the solutions they need to excel on their diverse pathways as technologists for freedom of expression, joy, and boundless potential. Let’s support so that every girl, regardless of race, gender, language, ability, economic status, and geographic origin – lives their full potential.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015 represent a sustainable roadmap for progress and leaves no one behind. Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations, it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas. An investment in promoting the rights of our girls today, promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of discrimination, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability. The International Day of the Girl Child holds the key to achieving this as empowering women and girls, who represent half of the world’s population, is crucial to accelerating sustainable development.

Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas. Let us assist young girls in growing into empowered women.

Ways to get involved
At the NMA Girl Child Promotion Committee, We have called this press conference to sensitize and educate the general public; several social media campaigns are going on while career talks on ICT and distribution of sanitary pads across 3 Local Government areas are on. Let’s raise girls who have access to education, nutrition, proper healthcare, skill-based learning facilities, and equal opportunities, free from gender-based violence, discrimination, and forced marriage. Let’s share stories of inspiring adolescent girls who are tech trailblazers.

Support the Girl Child. Educate the Girl Child. Protect the Girl Child.
Long Live the Nigeria Medical Association!!!

Prof Rosemary Ogu Dr Vetty Agala
Chairman Secretary
NMA Girl Child Promotion Committee NMA Girl Child Promotion Committee

Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, Celebrates International Girl Child Day 2021✊🇳🇬

By Smith Nwokocha

From Right, Dr. Vetty Agala (President MWAN-RS &Secretary, Girl Child Promotion Committee MWAN-RS), Hon. Mrs. Florence Amiesimaka (Former RISIEC Commissioner & Secretary FIDA), Dr. Doris Onyeneke (Founder, Mother Of Good Counsel Initiative-MOGCI) and Dr Omosivie Maduka(President Elect, MWAN Rivers).

Annually, 11th October is marked as a day to celebrate the Girl Child all over the World. This year, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter (MWAN) collaborated with Partners to support, senstize the Girl Child and 11th October,2021 will remain memorable in the minds of the beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries of the Sanitary Pads distribution


The International Day of the Girl child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
This year we joined the world to marked the day with the theme:”Digital Generation, Our Generation” in collaboration with some NGOs and girls’ forums, which was celebrated across 3 Local government areas in Rivers state.

Students at the arena


-Press release in collaboration with the Girl child promotion committee of Nigerian Medical Association ,Rivers State
-Support to Mother of good counsel initiative towards the building of a Shelter”Girl centre” project.

  • Health education talks on menstrual cycle and hygiene, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases were given and 200 female students were gifted sanitary pads, this was in collaboration with Kalabari girl child foundation at Asari Toru LGA.
    -Health education talk give to the students and sanitary pads were given to over 400 female secondary students drawn from Abua/Odual, Ahoada West &East and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government areas, this held at ONELGA this was done in collaboration with Orashi girls forum.
    -Distribution of sanitary pads to 200 female students of the Rivers State University in collaboration with Aluta Conscious Females
Packs of Sanitary Pads distributed to the Girls