During the period of covid-19 lockdown, a total of 151 sexually active girls out of 13, 571 young people who received sexual, reproductive health information in two Local Government Areas of Oyo State were treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while 16 others were confirmed pregnant.
Regional Manager, Society for Family Health (SFH), Tunde Ogungbero who revealed this noted that, but for the timely intervention of SFH with its new strategies to reach the adolescents in the two LGAs where it currently has programmes, with sexual health information using Technology, the STIs situation could have worsened.
He disclosed this during a Media Round table in Ibadan organised in collaboration with Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board (OYSPHCB) and the State COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
According to Ogungbenro, due to the covid-19 lockdown the girls who hitherto attended the Youth Friendly Centres established by SFH in Ibadan North East and Akinyele Local Govern
ment Areas since 2017, to acquire skills and vocations under its Love, Life and Health Project, could no longer gather due to Government policy on social distancing.
He said, the programme which had since inception reached over 157, 939 girls to date, had to device new strategies to reach the adolescent girls using WhatsApp and Facebook to reach out to them with covid-19 messages, to gain their confidence and to continue impacting on them vocational skills.
He however regretted that covid-19Lockdown did not in any way locked down sexual needs of the young ones saying, “in fact when we locked down all the schools and vocational centres and all the girls were at home with the boys, what else do we expect to see but increase in sexual activities with attendant teenage pregnancies.
“When we locked down those who were sexually active and due to renew their contraceptives but could not get their refill, what we expect to see is definitely rise in cases of teenage pregnancy” Ogungbero noted.
In the period of March to June, a total of 9373 who were found sexually active during the followed up mobilization exercise were referred for uptake of contraceptive method and about 2977 girls actually adopted a method, said Ogungbenro.
Also speaking at the event, Executive Secretary Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, (OYSPHCB) Dr. Muideen Babatunde Olatunji said government continued to train and boost the level of preparedness of health workers to enable them deliver service without noticeable gaps.
According to Olatunji a total of 1,380 Health Facilities were selected for the training, 2,760 Health Workers and 3,500 Community Volunteers were trained while Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were done across the 33 LGAs
On the update of covid-19 in Oyo State, of the 33 LGAs in the state, Incident Manager, Oyo State Emergency Operations Centre, (EOC), Dr. Taiwo Ladipo said only three, Irepo, Oorelope and Ibarapa are yet to record covid-19 cases with Ibadan south west having the highest number of 202 cases.
Dr. Ladipo disclosed that the majority of the active cases discovered in the state were asymptomatic with majority of those with symptoms presenting with fever, cough and sore throats and difficulty in breathing as well as runny nose.
He said, of recent new cases seen are of people presenting with loss of smell and taste, nausea, vomiting and headache; Diarrhea, fatigue, chest pain and chills.
Ladipo also attributed the challenges in tackling the rate of infection in the state by the EOC to very poor perception level of the people on the disease itself.
According to him, some of the challenges before the EOC include: Poor risk perception by the public
Poor compliance with self-isolation guidelines, Cases on home isolation, Contacts of confirmed cases Poor turnaround time in the laboratory and Short pace of replacement of PPEs amongst others.
He said it is time to have the decentralisation of response teams to the zones and local government levels while government needs Intensify public enlightenment, Community engagement, Monitoring of schools, Organizations on IPC compliance, Engagement of Health facilities and provision of Guidelines to be made available in public spaces amongst others.