Journalists, online publishers advised to utilize mobile friendly content,

Identified  barriers, myths and misconceptions of LPAY

By Lola Seriki-Idahosa, Kaduna, NorthWest, Nigeria

The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiatives (NURHI) in collaboration with Development Communication (DevCom) has unvailed life saving information for  Life Planning for Adolescents and youths (LPAY) to Journalists and online Publishers in Kaduna.

In a paper Presentation at the sensitization workshop in Kaduna on Tuesday, the Youth Focal Person Of NURHI Kaduna office, Aisha Salihu Waziri, explained that the key objectives of the LPAY include providing them with key life saving and hold birth spacing information.

According to her, “To meaningfully reach adolescents  and youths  with life saving information that will guide them  to make informed choices.

“To reach married adolescents and youth with child birth spacing informal to help them also reach their maximum potentials in life,” she said.

She said that in the NURHI phase 1 from 2009 to 2014, adolescent were not targeted because percentage of sexually active did not desire to be pregnant.

But in the Phase two 2015 to 2020 it was included because of the huge population of youth. She said that for instance, in Kaduna State, about three million out of seven million population are youth.

Salihu said that out of the youth and adolescent population, 42.2 per cent are sexually active, and some may even be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.

She said that the key priorities of LPAY include improving service delivery, quality and demand generation.

She said that some approaches that would be adopted are supportive environment, improved quality of service, expanded access to services and demand generation.

“As a key stakeholders, you have a role to ensure that the right information is passed on to youth and adolescents,” she tasked the youth.

Also in his remarks the state team leader kaduna NURHI, Dr. Kabir Abdullahi said that with the continuous increase in peer pressure making adolescents and young adults engage in things they would not do if better informed.

He said that  (NURHI) is providing life skills that would build their self esteem and prevent them from succumbing to such pressures.

According to the State Team Leader Kaduna NURHI, Dr. Kabiru Abdullahi  “Just like in some climes, peers tell the others that if you don’t have gonorrhea, you are not man enough. Those old perception is what we are set to change. The old order that to be masculine is that you have to go all out and conquer girls. Life skills help you to manage the attraction you feel from the opposite sex.

“If they are together, because of pressure of experimenting, they can make mistakes, “Life skills tell you how to overcome such peer pressure, how to say no, how to build on your self esteem by not allowing peers to make you do things you don’t want to do.,” he said.

The team leader explained that the constitution recognizes that below 18 you are a minor, above 18 adult, hence, they provide information to minors on, while information and services are provided to young adults.

“We also have a large number of married adolescents. But those between 15 to 17 years are considered minors. We have large numbers of adolescent that are brought in to access child birth spacing services. They can’t access service without consent of a guardian.

“While the provision is to provide information for minors, they can only be provided services with a guardian.

“The second age group, 18 to 24, constitutionally they can access services without a guardian or parent.

“NURHI is providing information for people that are minors and information and services for those that are adults,” he said.

He explained that they harp on abstinence, teaching of life skills that gives them opportunity to say ‘not now’ when approached for sex.

” Issues of attraction occur between both sexes at a very age and how to relief of pressure from peers.

“However, if you make mistakes, how you can go about it. If you know the number of women that die form abortion from quacks,” he added.

He pointed out that life planning takes precautions right from puberty. “We are interested in that window where a lot of young people make mistakes, but if they make mistakes, they would know where to go to correct it. When a young man makes mistakes, he goes on with his life, but when a girl makes mistakes, it may go on into the next generation,” he added.

He advised that in dealing with adolescents, you need to actually listen to them and get part of solutions from them.

“You have to make them your friends and come to their age, be one of them and correct them.

“Raising an adolescent at this age is not easy. You have to be close to the child otherwise you will lose them to someone who is brainwashing them,” he added.

He further advised that if you come into contact with young people, try to understand them first before attempting to influence them.

In his paper presentation, Mr. Shola Fagorusi, a media strategist from Devcom network advised Journalists and online news sites owners  to always bear in mind, mobile friendliness when putting content together.

In a paper delivered and  titled, ‘Social Media Strategic Approaches To Promoting LPAY’ also advised them to always research on the best time when their audience come online, to determine the right time when more people come online to read their content.

He explained that the Social Media represents the fifth estate of the realm and is on the rise and powerfully so.

“There is huge connection between the fourth and fifth estate,” he said. The media strategist said that for the prediction that there would no longer be hard copy of newspapers by 2028, it was important to take advantage and grow online publications.

He informed that Smart phones have increased volume of information flow, but warned that it would take 57,000 years to read on the internet 24 hours, 7 days a week.

“Parents are no longer primary sources of information for children, the internet has taken over with N100 data, you can access any information you need.

” There are 97 million internet users in Nigeria. 15.5m smart phones with over 70 per cent of Nigerians access online information on their mobile phones average time spent online is four hours,” he informed. .

On the importance and the followership of social media, he said that Facebook has between 15 to 20 million active users in Nigeria, with 7.2 million daily visits.

“97 per cent of access done on mobile devices,” he stressed. Through the help of infographics, he informed that Kaduna State has about 600,000 to 700,000 Facebook users, with 30 per cent women and 70 per cent men, out if which 55 per cent are single.

“Kaduna South has 69 per cent and Zaria has 11 per cent of Kaduna Facebook users.

For Twitter, about there are 7m active users in Nigeria. With trends from Kaduna, Lagos, Ibadan, Benin City, Kano, Lagos has its own trend.

“Active users between ages 20 – 29,” he said. He said while targeting an audience, it is important to know where the higher percentage targeted is.

“For instance, when targeting women, Instagram which has 3.6m Nigerians with 40 per cent male and 60 per cent female is ideal,” he informed.

Other social media discussed include Whatsapp, which he said has 1.5bn daily users.

“It is the most popular messaging app in Africa.In Nigeria, it has possibly 40m users,” he said.

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