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Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of married adolescents in northern Nigeria

Document type: mthesis
Download file(s): 185344 (940 KB)
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nigeria has one of the largest numbers of married adolescents in the world. In the predominantly Muslim Northern region of the country, about 70% of girls get married and start childbearing by the age of 18. Early marriage limits the social and development opportunities of married adolescents as well as exposes them to sexual and reproductive health problems which often result in grave consequences such as vesico vagina fistula, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and death. METHODOLOGY: Desk review of articles, reports and data from search engines like Google and pubmed on sexual and reproductive health of married adolescents was used. Grey literatures on unpublished and materials unavailable on line were also used. FINDINGS: The practice of early marriage is mainly fueled by cultural/traditional and religious factors as well as poverty, gender inequality and unfavourable marriag laws. Lack of education and social isolation hinders adolescents from utilizing of sexual and reproductive health services which leads to poor health outcomes for them. The shortcomings of the health system also contribute to poor management of SRH problems of married adolescents. CONCLUSION: The minimum age of 18 for marriage should be enforced in Nigeria to allow girls to attain physical and mental maturity, complete secondary school education and be better prepared for the responsibilities of marriage. In the meantime, health workers, local midwives and key stakeholders in the community need resources and skills to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescent girls who are already married. The government and development partners must be more committed in implementing programmes to improve the social and health conditions of married girls in Northern Nigeria.
Authors: Olunloyo, A.O.
Country: Nigeria
Category: Research
Department: Development Policy & Practice
Institute: KIT (Royal Tropical Institute)
Keywords: reproductive health , youth , health services
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
PAGE: vi, 50
Year: 2009
Region: West Africa
Right: © 2009 Olunloyo
Subject: Health and Nutrition
Title: Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of married adolescents in northern Nigeria
Training: Master of Public Health / International Course in Health Development (ICHD)