The Ifako community in the Gbagada area of Lagos State has risen up to the challenge to address the needs of adolescents more proactively. At the Ifako Community Outreach Day, organised by AHI, and hosted by the Baale of Ifako, Chief Sule Kadiri, at his residence, community leaders unanimously agreed that parents have a great role to play in ensuring the health and well-being of their children. They called on parents to support programmes aimed at promoting adolescent health and development, saying that the entire community will be better for it.
Some members of the community who spoke at the event, frowned at the prevalent situation in which parents do not communicate with their children about inevitable issues relating to growing up, like menstruation, wet dreams, relationships and life planning in general.
Some of the speakers attributed this to the fact that discussion about issues relating to sexuality, especially with their children was taboo. Others said that developments within the community in recent years have shown that parents need to be more honest and forthright with their children.
During the question and answer session, it was obvious that parents were particularly concerned about fating among young people, part-going, idleness and the resultant effects, especially among their non-school going adolescent children – many expressed anxieties about how to keep them on the right path.
After the outreach activities, the Baale and an entourage comprising of other eminent chiefs and residents in the community went on a tour of the AHI Youth Centre. They visited the information, Education & Communication Unit, the Resource Library, the Video Production Unit, Computer Training Centre and the Youth Clinic. They also inspected the centre’s conference and training facilities.
The Community Outreach Day was organised to mark the International Day of Action for Women’s Health (May 28). The day is marked every year, to further the campaign against maternal mortality and morbidity, all over the world.