The Lagos State Government, recognizing the implication of a significant youthful population engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors, established Hello Lagos as an integrated youth friendly center (YFC) in 2002. The survey was to assess the need for the Youth Friendly Centres by the youths in Agege, Ikeja and Oko-Awo communities.
The survey was conducted on In-School Youths (ISY) and Out-of-School Youths (OSY) in Agege, Ikeja and Oko-Awo; and on the health personnel in charge of the YFCs. Quantitative questionnaires (180), Focus Group Discussions (45) and Key Informant Interview (3) sessions were used to capture the responses of the participants.
Quantitative Key Findings
119 (66.11%) youths across the three sites never knew where to access youth friendly services (YFC). 115 (63.89%) youths in the local community were unaware of “Hello Lagos”. The youth accessed activities such as; computer lessons and vocational trainings (60.00%);interactive sessions for separate sexes;watch a movie. They also accessed services such as; HCT (65.00%); sickness and injury treatment; andsex education. Accessing the centres during weekends was more convenient for about 96 (53.33%) youths. Some factors that could prevent them from accessing the centre were: their family member; church members; incompetent staff; inadequate and inactive facility.
Qualitative Key Findings
Major findings include: Poor publicity due to factors such as low man power to publicise and tough bureaucracy to obtain permission into schools to publicise; lack of safe space; equipment that need enough space to be installed and used properly; low turn up of youths; need for more basic amenities such as water (both for drinking and for sanitary purposes) and power supply; insufficient staff at all the centres. Fridays were most convenient for the ISY because schools dismiss earlier and weekends were most convenient for most OSY because of less work.
Improve publicity; minimum of two qualified staff at each centre; refurbish the centres with equipment; maintenance plan and structure should be in place; create safe space for the youths; mobilise family members to support; transportation plan for youths who live far from the centre; liaise with other health facilities to ensure sustainability.