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YOUTH FRIENDLY CENTRE, UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT

YOUTH FRIENDLY CENTRE, UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

The University of Port Harcourt’s Youth Friendly Centre was commissioned by Her Excellency, Late Mrs. Stella Obasanjo in November, 2004 during the Nigerian Universities Games hosted by the University of Port Harcourt. This was in response to the request from the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) that the Government should establish a Youth Friendly Centre (YFC) in each Nigerian University as a means of fighting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and its related Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS pandemic). The NACA working in partnership with Ecobank established Youth Friendly Centre in some Nigerian Universities.

 

Operations in the University of Port Harcourt’s Youth Friendly Centre (YFC) commenced on 10th February 2005 with Dr. Boma H. Lawson as the Coordinator. On his retirement in 2007, Dr. Lawson handed over to Prof. Ose Ejele of the Department of Haematology, University of Port Harcourt. Dr. Chinwe Ezirim of the University of Port Harcourt Health Centre was appointed the Coordinator from 2010 to 2016. She handed over the coordination to Dr. Olayinka Olusanya, a Medical Officer in the Health Centre in 2016. His tenure ended in September 2016 when Dr. Rosemary Ogu was appointed an Acting Director of the Centre. She is still the current Acting Director of the Centre. 

 

 

PROGRAMME COMPONENTS OF THE YOUTH FRIENDLY CENTRE:

The Youth Friendly Centre has three (3) programme components as defined in the UNICEF/WHO criteria for the establishment of Adolescents/Youth Friendly Services in 2000.  These include:

A) Education and Communication Unit: This is provided through the Resource Library and scheduled presentations where relevant simple, short and concise information is made available to ensure livelihood skills acquisition package and life skills training, comprehensive health education model that include sexuality education, prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Prevention of sexual violence, crimes and unwanted pregnancy. Also domiciled in this unit are livelihood and leadership skills acquisition, Conflict Resolution Skills, Nutrition and Exercise Advice and telephone counselling services. This unit also coordinates community services to secondary schools as part of our social responsibilities.

 

 

B) Health and Life Style Unit: This provides general health services, treatment and counseling services and a referral system for care and support for youths whose HIV test is positive. The Unit also provides support for youths who face challenges with their academics in order to reduce the number of drop outs. Youths involved in substance abuse and other forms of antisocial behaviours are counselled and engaged through behavior change communication strategies. In conjunction with the Entrepreneurial Centre, we are dedicated to train youths in skills that can help them get established faster in life; teach Youths how to write CV, apply for work, attend interviews, create jobs, etc.

 

 

C) Recreational Unit: This unit provides facilities for games such as Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, Ludo and Table Tennis.

 

MISSION OF THE YOUTH FRIENDLY CENTRE:

  1. Provide a setting for the dissemination of information on HIV/AIDS, other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and related issues.
  2. Create a friendly environment that would promote interactive dialogue on life skills acquisition, leadership and mentoring, reproductive health and related issues.
  3. To collaborate with other stakeholders on the provision of care and support for students living with HIV/AIDS, prevention of STIs, unwanted pregnancies, sexual violence, antisocial behaviours.
  4. Train Peer educators through Workshops, Seminars, and Conferences.
  5. To institute a comprehensive Health Education model that includes sexuality education, prevention of sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Teenage Unwanted Pregnancy (TUP) as well as HIV/AIDS, Conflict resolution and violence prevention services as well as leadership skills acquisition.
  6. Establish a linkage with external organizations (National and International) and with the various student union organisations to sensitise students.

 

OUR VISION:

To train successive generations of youths who are empowered to understand and participate in the prevention of ill-health, promotion and sustenance of activities geared towards healthy living, decent human conduct, and good leadership qualities.

  1. To influence behavioural changes in the youths.
  2. To prevent the spread of HIV virus amongst the students on campus.
  3. To detect the carriers of the HIV virus and help them to live healthy in order to prevent development of AIDS.
  4. Promote and sustain commitment to pro-social and pro-health activities.

                                                 

 

 

RECENT ACTIVITIES

 

  • World AIDS Day, 2016 was marked in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Health and Family Health International 360 (FHI 360). The theme for the state was, “Towards achieving an HIV free generation.”

A rally/HIV awareness walk began by 10.00am from the Ministry of Health to the Rivers State Polytechnic, Rumuola where the event for the day was held. All students of tertiary Institutions in the State were part of the event.

Seventy three (73) students from various Faculties of the University of Port Harcourt actively participated in the rally as well as other events which marked the day.

 

  • The marking of International Women’s Day, 8th March, 2017

Youth Friendly centre and the Health Centre collaborated with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) and Coolwazobiainfo FM radio to host an awareness campaign on the elimination of violence against women.

The event held on 8th of March, 2017 which was the International Women’s Day at the Convocation Arena from 10.30am.

 

  • Donation of 6 Desk Top Computers by Ecobank to Youth Friendly Centre.

On the 13th of March 2017, four representatives of Ecobank, Choba led by the Branch Manager, Mr. Kenneth Ujadughele presented desk top computers to the Youth Friendly Centre. The Coordinator of the Centre, Dr. Olayinka Olusanya received the items on behalf of the team coordinating the affairs of the Centre. Also present at the presentation ceremony were the Chief Nursing Officers of the Health Centre, Mrs. Florence Ogwo and Mrs. Oyim-Jaja, the administrator of the Centre, Mrs. Ifeoma Ofurum, the Centre’s Cybercafe manager, Mr. Friday Ony.

 

  • The Peer Educators of the Youth Friendly Centre were part of the organizers of the Students Leadership Summit which held on 11th of August 2017 after series of Entrepreneurial Skill acquisition trainings by providing medical logistics. The peer Educators were also available to run free HIV tests.

 

  • The Youth Friendly Centre representatives were part of the 2017 Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Week which began on 10th October, 2017 and ended 14th October, 2017 with a dinner/award night.

 

  • The Youth Friendly Centre in collaboration with the Health Services Department, held a Rally/Awareness Walk/ Free HIV testing to commemorate World AIDS Day, 1st December, 2017 with theme: “Increasing impact through transparency, accountability, and partnerships.” The walk was from Delta Park to Abuja Park and then to Ebitimi Banigo Hall. Dignitaries of the University, including the vice chancellor, Prof Ndowa Lale and his dear wife, were part of the rally. Hand bills were shared to individuals as the rally proceeded. The event was rounded off with free HIV tests which was handled by the centre’s peer educators.

 

 

  • A Youth summit was held Saturday, 10th February, 2018. Theme: “Why wait when you can lead” organized by the Restructure Ambassadors of Nigeria in collaboration with the Student Union Government (SUG), Médecins Sans Frontières and UNIPORT Youth Friendly Centre.

The essence of the Summit was to orientate and Sensitize the youths not to be instruments of social vises in the hands of politicians. Instead they too should prepare themselves for leadership, anywhere they find themselves. Whether in Business sector, Health sector, Education, Economy, Religion, Politics etc. rather than being instruments for societal Unrest.

Free HIV tests were conducted for voluntary clients by the University of Port Harcourt Youth Friendly Centre peer educators who were also present at the event.

 

 

STAFF STRENGTH:

  • The Director
  • The Coordinator
  • The Chief Health Officer
  • The Administrator
  • The Programme Officer(IEC)
  • The Programme Officer (M&E)
  • Counselors
  • Lab Scientist
  • Cybercafé Manager
  • Care-takers.

 

 

COLLABORATION WITH OTHER CENTRES/AGENCIES OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY:

  1. National Agency for the Control of AIDS –NACA
  2. State Agency for the Control of AIDS- SACA
  3. Centre for Health and Development(CHD), University of Port Harcourt
  4. Ecobank
  5. Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Rivers State
  6. Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), University of Port Harcourt
  7. Centre for Research Management, University of Port Harcourt

 

 

 

                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Rosemary Ogu                            Mrs. Ifeoma Ofurum

Acting Director                         Administrator

08033129937                                      08033392805

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