Two case studies from a GIWYN policy brief on implementation of reproductive health policies and laws in the Nigerian National Health Policy

Case Study 1″Sometimes I feel like killing myself, I feel I should not have listened to my parents because I feel, I am useless.” Adeola is a fifteen years old girl who was gang-raped during an armed robbery incident in her house. She became pregnant. She expressed her desire to abort the resultant pregnancy to her parents, but the parents refused and insisted that she should carry the pregnancy to term. Adeola carried the pregnancy to term and delivered a baby girl. She now faces life-threatening stigmatization from family and society. Adeola had to drop out of school because of all of this. She struggles practically on her own to take care of her baby. “It has not been easy; I have to do all sorts of things to take care of my baby. She also explained that all these are because her parents refused to listen to her request – because she was just girl and should listen to her parent’s advice. She expressed all this with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes during her interview with us.Case Study 2“I lost my womb at the age of 17 seeking an abortion from a quack.” Chikoma was in tears as she told the story of how she lost her womb as a teenager. Then a senior secondary school pupil, she was impregnated by her neighbour, who was a student in one of the federal polytechnics in the country. “Confused and afraid of the consequence of my action, both I and my boyfriend approached a medicine store in Ikeja, Lagos State capital, to terminate the pregnancy,” she said. But, unfortunately, her small intestine was perforated in the process. Sensing that she might die from chronic infection, the doctor referred her to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where she got a proper clean-up. Though the operation was successful, the doctors told her parents that she might not be able to become pregnant again because the infection had affected her womb.SOURCE: Implementation of Reproductive Health Policies and Laws in the Nigerian National Health Policy: A Policy Brief, by Generation Initiative For Women and Youth Network (GIWYN) and the National Coalition member organizations, Annex 2, 15 April 2016PHOTO: Allison Shelley, AlJazeera America, 10 December 2013NOTE: A report of this policy brief can be found in the Campaign Newsletter, 26 October 2016