The workshop was attended by scholars/researchers, civil society organizations, development practitioners and policy makers and service providers from Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Cross River, Edo, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Rivers, Anambra, Taraba, Yobe, Osun, Kaduna and Lagos States. The workshop was organized to:
1. Critically examine the challenges of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Nigeria;
2. Critically examine the challenges of policy implementation as they have to do with Sexual and Reproductive Health; and
3. Chart the pathways for dealing with the identified challenges of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Nigeria.
In all, thirty-two (32) papers were presented in eight (8) plenary sessions. Each session was chaired by a distinguished scholar or an experienced researcher. Other scholars/participants served as discussants and rapporteurs. The workshop provided a forum for examining Sexual and Reproductive Health
issues in Nigeria, the challenges in the implementation of the national reproductive health-related policies, and the role of civil society organizations in this regard.
The workshop participants critically x-rayed issues bordering on the challenges of Sexual and Reproductive Health as well as those of implementation and made policy recommendations through papers that were presented in the following areas:
- Key reproductive health issues and challenges in Nigeria and efforts at redressing them;
- Harmful practices, reproductive rights and gender issues;
- The role of advocacy in the implementation of reproductive health policies in Nigeria;
- Reproductive health issues in Nigeria: religious perspectives;
- Role of civil society organisations in the implementation of reproductive health policies in Nigeria;
- The role of adolescent peer education and youth friendly centres/services in the implementation of reproductive health policies in Nigeria; and
- Governance issues: creating necessary conditions for implementing sexual and reproductive health and rights in Nigeria
The following were the challenges identified:
1. Poor implementation: The workshop noted that in spite of the numerous policies on reproductive health in Nigeria, there is poor implementation.
2. Weak legislative backing and support for the reproductive health policies: Though there are provisions dealing with several reproductive health challenges in the National Reproductive Health Policy, most of them do not enjoy legislative backing and support.
3. The workshop noted that the policy on reproductive health lacks adequate political understanding and commitments needed to address the challenges of Sexual and Reproductive Health.
4. The workshop noted the paucity of budgetary allocations and continued donor-driven funding of the implementation of national health policies and programmes.
5. The workshop noted improper utilization of the limited resources allocated to Sexual and Reproductive Health policies and programmes.
6. The workshop also identified religion and culture as impeding and restricting the implementation of Sexual and Reproductive Health policies.
7. The workshop identified poverty as a major challenge to effective implementation of Sexual and Reproductive Health policies and programmes.
8. The workshop identified the vulnerable nature of adolescents regarding Sexual and Reproductive Health issues and rights.
9. The workshop looked critically at the place of language in the effective communication of Sexual and Reproductive Health issues. 10.The strategic roles of Civil Society Organisations in reproductive health advocacy and service delivery were highlighted and recognized.
11.The workshop recognized Traditional Birth Attendants and the need to build their capacity in view of the role they play in Sexual and Reproductive Health issues, especially in our rural communities.
12.The workshop recognized the place of media organizations in promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health but lamented the prohibitive rates charged by most of them in delivering these services.
13.The workshop identified leadership factors that militate against the effective implementation of Sexual and Reproductive Health policies and programmes.
14.The workshop identified the impact of corruption in the effective implementation of Sexual and Reproductive Health policies and programmes.
15. The influence of globalization (positive and negative) in character development in adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health was recognized.
The workshop made the following recommendations that:
1. Government should put in place a good plan for effective implementation of the national reproductive health policies and programmes.
2. There should be strong legal backing for Sexual and Reproductive Health policies in Nigeria.
3. There should be a re-orientation of political actors on the implementation of Sexual and Reproductive Health policies in Nigeria.
4. There should be an increase in budgetary allocation by all tiers of government.
5. Further partnership between and among the private, public sectors, civil society organisations and international donor agencies, be encouraged.
6. The implementation of reproductive health budget be monitored by CSOs in their various communities.
7. Religious groups and traditional leaders be mobilized to participate in the implementation of Sexual and Reproductive Health policies and programmes.
8. Illiteracy and youth exclusion be fully addressed.
9. Local language of beneficiaries of Sexual and Reproductive Health should be adopted for programming.
10. CSOs should be empowered to play a key role in improving data quality and integrity.
11. Media outfits should look at advocacy of reproductive health as a social and not as commercial service.
12. There should be accountability and transparency in the leadership of all relevant ministries, departments and agencies in all tiers of government.
13. The National Health Insurance Scheme be extended to cover the informal sector, the vulnerable class and rural dwellers, so as to facilitate cheaper access to Sexual and Reproductive Health services.
14. Poverty alleviation programmes should be intensified by both state and non-state actors as a major solution to Sexual and Reproductive Health problems.