Teenage pregnancy: WHO Nigeria supports awareness creation in Ebonyi State

A cross-section of teenagers at the meeting
A cross-section of teenagers at the meeting

The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Ethics and values, Dr Mrs Sarah Jibril commended WHO in Nigeria for supporting the awareness campaign on preventing and managing teenage pregnancies held on the 9th May 2014 at the Women Development Centre, Abakaliki the capital of Ebonyi state. The campaign was implemented by Bell and Bridge Crystal Foundation and supported by the World Health Organization, Nigeria. 

In a keynote address at the occasion, the Special Adviser explained that every human being has the capacity to learn and be transformed, further stated that ‘every society has core values which are important to the people and which serve to preserve the culture, norms and values’. She was fully convinced that ‘in Nigeria we have great core values and norms that have sustained the society for a long time’. 

Dr. Jubril reminded both male and female teenagers in attendance, on the need to preserve their integrity and to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. 

In his remarks, Dr Sunday Nwangele the State Commissioner for Health also appreciated WHO, Nigeria for sponsoring the campaign, stating that ‘the burden of teenage pregnancies has become a major public health problem in the Nigerian society’. In addition, he was of the opinion that the attendant health risks such as unsafe abortions, mental and social effects of unwanted pregnancies were increasingly jeopardizing the educational, physical, mental and social development of a lot of teenagers who are caught in the web of teenage pregnancy.

The programme which was attended by over a thousand teenagers from various secondary schools in and around Abakaliki, was also graced by  the wife of the attorney general of the state, the directors of Bell and Bridge Crystal Foundation, officials of Ebonyi State Ministries of Health and  Women affairs, WHO and  UNFPA.