If you do research in Nigeria involving children and adolescent or you provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to young persons within Nigeria then, you must have been faced with the challenge of finding legal and regulatory framework to guide your work. Today, you need not look or worry any further as the Federal Ministry of Health has a consultative report document that can guide your work. Click FMoH Guidelines for Young Persons Participation in Research & Accessing SRH Services in Nigeria 2014 for your copy.
According to Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, the Hon. Minister of State for Health and Supervising Minister of Health, in his foreword to the document, he said that “..Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) consequences disproportionately affect children, adolescents, and young persons. They account largely for morbidity and mortality in these groups in many African countries including Nigeria and have slowed down or reversed the gains of the child survival efforts of the last decade. The need to mainstream children and adolescents in national reproductive health programmes has become even more significant because children profoundly depend on adults for participation in research and access to SRH services that affect their survival and development.
As part of efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, to strengthen SRH interventions across the country the need for the Federal Ministry of Health to develop a guidance document to address gaps currently inhibiting participation of children in SRH research and their access to services has become pertinent. This document is designed out of the need to provide guidance in determining the age at which children, adolescents and young persons can give consent for SRH research and access to services without parental consent and in addition, establish standards of practice with regards to management of confidentiality for SRH research and service provision in the best interest of the child. Also some ethical considerations become necessary when engaging children with special conditions in SRH research and service provision.
The Federal Government of Nigeria expects that all health professionals and organizations in the country involved with engaging children, adolescents and young persons in SRH research and their access to services will uphold the standards prescribed in this guidance document. This document is expected to be implemented along with the National Health Research Ethics Council and eventually adopted as a policy document…”
Document source: http://www.nhvmas-ng.org/website/pubcontent.php?pubid=21
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