Lagos State Government has called on parents to regularly educate their children on sexual issues in order to reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies and other hazards of immoral practices common among teenagers.
The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Nike Akande made the call on Thursday during a sensitization programme organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Lisa Demi Project in partnership with the State Government, themed: “Let’s Talk About Our Sexual Health” held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Mrs. Akande said that it was expedient for parents and children to be aware of the various societal ills and consciously make efforts to avoid falling victims of these vices including sexual assault.
While advising students to desist from engaging in pre-marital sexual relationships, the Commissioner explained that sexual assault can cause physical, emotional, psychological, social damage, sexually transmitted diseases, depression as well as lack of self-confidence.
She advised students to make good use of social workers in their schools, saying that they are confidential counsellors who should be approached at all times for guidance on sexual issues and career matters.
The keynote speaker from the Lagos State Ministry of Health and a Chief Nursing Officer, Mrs. Samuel Esther, in her speech titled “Sexual Abstinence” further enlightened the students on developmental stages and signs which are hormonal and genetically inclined to show maturity.
She said that peer group pressure, economy, modernization, exposure to negative social media messages among other factors can influence sexual activity.
Mrs. Esther assured youths that there are no negative effects to sexual abstinence, advising teenagers to disregard several myths and misguided perception of their peers.
The initiator of Lisa Demi Project, Miss Elizabeth Demilade emphasized the need to educate teenagers on sexual health.
According to her, research has shown that 15% of girls aged 15years have been involved in sexual activities without a good understanding of what the implications are.
She disclosed that 42% of 15 to 24-year-old persons are liable to be infected with HIV or other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), while 15% of them have had sex before or at the age of 15, noting that the statistics call for an increase in sexual education at home, school and religious gatherings.
Demilade said that the Project was aimed at educating teenagers and also to create awareness on sexual health thereby helping to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases as well as address stigmatisation of HIV/ AIDS patients.