The Future of Nigeria Starts Today: Providing Youth-Friendly Family Planning Services to Young People

In 2018 and 2019, Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) conducted interviews and focus groups in three Nigerian states to assess implementation of youth-friendly contraceptive services. In Cross River State, our research revealed that despite earnest efforts to train service providers on how to offer services to youth and create dedicated youth-friendly facilities, young people still face stigma and barriers to accessing family planning. Youth and family planning stakeholders reported that young people have more negative experiences when they attempt to seek family planning information or services from public facilities when compared with private facilities or pharmacies.

Nigerian youth leaders from IYAFP, with support from PRB, designed a fact sheet targeting the Cross River State Ministry of Health with the request to make public facilities friendlier to youth by issuing a policy directive to all public health facilities to hold a youth sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) day every month for at least one year. The monthly youth SRHR day should include key elements of youth-friendly health services that allow each individual to make informed decisions about their health, such as nonjudgmental providers, protection of confidentiality and privacy, and comprehensive counseling on a wide range of family planning methods.

The fact sheet shares key data related to youth reproductive health and showcases select findings from the assessment that revealed gaps between policy commitments and implementation.