Pankshin (Plateau) – An educationist, Dr Audu Jatau, on Friday urged the Federal Government to institute measures to stem premarital sex among youths, to reduce cases of unwanted pregnancies.
Jatau, who is the Dean, School of Undergraduate Studies, Federal College of Education (FCE), Pankshin in Plateau, made the call during the college’s 34th Academic Board Inaugural Lecture.
He said that millions of adolescent girls who were ignorant about sex had become victims of sex maniacs who put them in the family way and abandoned them with unwanted pregnancies.
The lecture is entitled: “Premarital pregnancies in Nigeria: Implications for education, reproductive health and social Well-being of adolescent girls.’’
“The federal and state ministries of education should ensure that sex education is effectively taught at all levels in the secondary schools so as strengthen the morals of the students.
“It will also help to erase ignorance about sex that beclouds the adolescent girl’s reasoning.
“It is believed that sexuality education, if appropriately handled, will equip adolescent girls with knowledge of safer sex to promote good reproductive health,’’ he said.
Jatau said: “The crave for materialism, rebellion and desire for freedom are some of the factors leading to unwanted pregnancies in the society.
“Peer group influence, broken homes, un-realistic false marriage promises and low level of religious commitment are also factors that lead to premarital sex and unwanted pregnancies.’’
He said that the consequences of such pregnancies included child abuse and neglect, child abandonment, poor socio-economic status, crime, early divorce and social stigma.
Jatau advised parents to be the primary sexuality educators of the adolescents, to prevent their wards from getting the wrong information from their peers, media and pornographic materials.
According to him, getting the information from the secondary sources will do more harm than good.
The dean advised adolescent girls who had become victims to rise above their mistakes.
“Adolescent girls that have unwanted pregnancies should not consider abortion as the best option `because it causes pelvic inflammatory infection, hemorrhage as well as damage to the liver, kidneys and cervix.
“For those who dropped out of school due to premarital pregnancies, they should ensure that they do not compromise their education.
“ Rather, they should pursue it with vigour after weaning their babies so as not to prevent their opportunities of becoming relevant in the society,’’ he counselled.
Jatau also called on the FG to set up more Reproductive Health Centres where adolescents could seek counselling and treatment at affordable rates. (NAN)