Nigerian Chronicles IV- PPFA in Maiduguri
In Maiduguri, PPFA ( again supported by Packard Foundation grants) had set up a Reproductive Health Information and Services Center run by youth peer educators. PPFA considers peer to peer interaction very critical for successful youth and adolescent reproductive health programming. The philosophy behind these programs, according to Thank-God Okosun, the PPFA Program Officer here , “like poles attract and unlike poles repel”. PPFA has invested heavily in training young peer counselors to implement their educational activities, especially in contraception and safe sexual practices. They are also trained to refer clients for post abortion care and unintended pregnancies for possible counseling and services. Emergency Contraceptives have also been introduced and considering the conservative religious climate, this is seen as a major point of progress in family planning programming.
PPFA’s Youth Friendly Center is very much like a boys and girls club for teenagers. There is a pool table and other recreational activities and every opportunity is used engage teenagers and educate them on sexual reproductive health issues.
A peer counselor educating a young women on various birth control options. Here she explains the “female” condom option.
Condoms are distributed here in the pool playing room.
These two young women are being counseled in birth control options. They are very young and recently had abortions.
Another counseling session where every available birth control method was discussed.
The resource has an abundance of educational materials.
A young women contemplating her situation.
The center has a room where one can be tested for AIDS.