Daily Champion (Lagos)

13 July 2011

Nigeria: Introduce Sex Education for Young People - Expert

Dr Ejike Oji, a reproductive health expert, has called for the introduction of a comprehensive sex education for young people in schools. Oji, the Country Director Ipas Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Friday that such education would assist them to know the dangers of unprotected sex.

He said such education would make the youths to know the dangers of doing unsafe abortions and contracting venereal diseases.Oji said abortion was a major cause of maternal deaths in the country and required urgent attention to check the trend.

"Three years ago, the Centre for Reproductive Right, a New York-based organisation, worked with a Nigerian NGO known as Ward-C on a periodic review of unsafe abortions.They came up with a report that 34,000 women were dying annually in Nigeria from unsafe abortions.

"You could see very easily that from the figures presented by the organisations, about 50 per cent of the maternal deaths in Nigeria were due to abortion related complications.Between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of people who die are young people, adolescents and the poor, ' ' he said.

The expert said that if sex education was introduced in the schools, the young ones would learn from early age the dangers associated with unsafe sex, abortion and maternal deaths.He said abortion was a major cause of maternal deaths in the country and also caused frozen pelvis, and made some women experience pains while having sex with their spouses.Oji suggested that there should be a comprehensive post abortion care in the country to take care of the problems arising now.

"There is the need to have a post abortion family planning to ensure that women who had abortion before do not come back again. There is also need to make abortion safe for people who want to have it.

"Safe abortion should be provided for women who have been raped or those who had infection from a relationship and when a continued pregnancy will put a woman 's life in danger.

"I believe these steps can assist to reduce maternal deaths from abortion, ' ' he said.

In another development, Dr Ayo Ojebode of the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, has urged journalists to be alive to their professional calling.

Ojebode told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that the present state of journalism profession was worrisome, alleging that some professionals had taken it as "a meal ticket Journalists should see the profession not just as a meal ticket, but as a calling, they should look back and see where they are coming from, now that this country is making progress.'We just had another civilian to civilian election that was successful because journalists put their feet on the ground and fought the military.

"Many of them were jailed, some of them were killed, many went into exile and have not recovered from the experience up till now, ' ' he said.

Ojebode explained that there had been instances where politicians and businessmen own newspapers that further compromised the freedom of the press. He said that this development had further created doubts about the credibility of the reportage of private owned newspapers.He, however, urged journalists to stick to integrity in news reporting, adding that this was not the time for journalists to forget their patriotic roles of the past. He also urged them to put into consideration the spirit of freedom and the love of their fatherland.

"Journalism is a noble profession that places enormous responsibility on its practitioners, between the journalists and the public.There is the sacred trust that the media will inform the people truthfully, responsibly and hold government accountable, this is what I advocate, ' ' he said. NAN

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