By: CYRIACUS IZUEKWE
An organisation, Heartland Alliance International, is implementing a programme for marginalised women and girls especially females who use drugs in Lagos, Nigeria.
The project Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All (SARRA) is aimed at empowering all women and girls to exercise their sexual and reproductive health rights free from stigma, neglect, discrimination, violence or abuse.
The project also aims at prevention and promotion of response to sexual and gender based violence on women and girls.
Hybrid Online News Nigeria reports that a stakeholders event which took place at M-Square hotel, Ikeja attracted some prominent stakeholders from the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Gender unit- Ikeja Police Command, NAFDAC, NDLEA, human right groups, NGOs, among others.
The programme coordinator, Ms Chinwe Ogbonna stated that the goal of the meeting was to contribute to an outcome: sensitize the relevant stakeholders in order to create and promote awareness on the plight of females who use drugs, on their sexual and reproductive health rights and needs; including prevention and response to sexual and gender based violence against women and girls who use drugs in Lagos. She emphasised that females who use drugs are an unspoken reality and there is a critical need to focus on their plight.
She also stated that the meeting was intended to provide opportunity for participants to reflect on innovations and lessons from the field and how it can assist in expanding access to sexual and reproductive health services to hard to reach women and girls who use drugs in Lagos state.
The participants had extensive discussions on how to support the project and expand services with the stakeholders showing commitment for the success of the project. So far the organization has sensitised and empowered over 2000 females who use drugs in the state with sexual and reproductive health knowledge and services.
Heartland Alliance International works to advance human rights and champion human dignity by providing services and promoting solutions to achieve a more just global society where all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.