IAUE HOLDS FIFTH INAUGURAL LECTURE WITH PREGNANCY IN ADOLESCENCE IN FOCUS.
Concerned that fertility in many less developed countries including Nigeria is an important problematic factor of population dynamics or changes, and in recognition that adolescent pregnancy is a problem because of the resulting truncated education, eroded learning, single parenthood and social costs of early parenthood, Professor Lawanson Agbani Briggs delivered the fifth inaugural lecture of the university on the topic: Pregnancy in Adolescence: intergenerational cycle of growth failure and stunting.
According to him, the high rate of adolescent unemployment, the early age at which they engage in sexual intercourse, leading to unplanned, unwanted and unintended pregnancies and subsequent illicit abortion, the lack of information and education on reproductive health necessitated the choice of the topic of the lecture.
He observed that there is mass urban internal migration from the rural and semi rural population to the cities of the less developed countries and added that the internal immigrants, usually the youthful population are triggered by the unending urge for a better life with many migrants maintaining a circular pattern of movement between the rural semi and urban centre.
The professor of public health education pointed out that the United Nations population provision of 1987 report, reveals that in other cases, migrants are permanently settling down and when natural increases on the urban area is high and migrants contribute substantially to it, the migrant's fertility becomes an important factor.
The inaugural Lecturer remarked that most migrants to the urban centre are young, looking for a better way of life in the city and that rural high fertility may be carried over to the urban environment.
He stated that as a result of the inadequacy of jobs and housing, most young migrants end up in the peripheral of the city in shanty type settlements, overcrowded environment without potable water supply and health facilities, and that in such a situation, adolescent early sexual activity and resulting pregnancy would most likely enhance the socio-economic problems of most less developed countries.
The immediate past Dean of Postgraduate school, stressed that adolescent pregnancy has received increased attention because of early engagement of sexual activity by adolescents and the resultant unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, associated health risks and problems of early motherhood, lack of adequate information, education and communication on reproductive health services.
He opined that adolescents lack information and education on reproductive health, because they do not discuss their sexual life freely with their mothers or relatives and that the school system do not also supply them with adequate information and education about sexual knowledge and so they end up in uncertainty, helplessness and misconception on sexual matters.
He equally observed that they also resort to clandestine and illicit abortion sometimes performed by an unskilled practitioner leading to irreparable damage or even death of the adolescent.
The one time Deputy Vice-Chancellor hinted that children of those who give birth receive less parental care, a situation believed to be responsible for increased infanticide, baby abandonment and child abuse.
He encouraged parents to give sexual education and supervise early dating behaviour in their adolescents.
He also advocated for contraceptive information and services to be disseminated through government sponsored programmes.
Professor Lawanson Agbani Briggs emphasized the need for parents and teachers to acquire training on reproductive health to play a vital role in preventing unwanted pregnancies among sexually active adolescents to enable them obtain informed choice.
In his remarks, the Vice- Chancellor of the university, Professor Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele described inaugural lecture as a critical academic culture that provides opportunity for the lecturer to tell the world what he has been professing and its relevance and benefits to the larger society.
He thanked Professor Lawanson Agbani Briggs for the choice of the topic he noted would help and guide parents on what to do with their adolescents in terms of social behaviors with its attendant consequences.
The chairman of Senate lecture committee, Professor Charles Okechukwu Iwundu expressed gratitude to guests for adding colour to the event with their presence and enjoined them to buy a copy of the lecture for family use.
Professor Lawanson Agbani Briggs was born in 1959 in Abonnema in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the State. He had his primary education at Nyemoni primary school and his secondary education at St Gregory College Obalende Lagos in 1969. He attended Federal Government College Warri between 1970-1971 and obtained his higher school certificate in Botany, Chemistry and Zoology. He attended University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America where he got his Bachelor of Science (Bs) Hons degree in Health Education in 1978 and his Master of Public Health degree in 1979 at the same ivy league university. He was conferred a Doctorate degree in 1996 at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Professor Briggs joined the institution in 1981 as an Assistant Lecturer and rose to the rank of a full professor in 2006. He has served in all conceivable teaching staff positions from course lecturer through committee memberships or chairmanships to Deputy Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. He has to his credit well over 70 publications in indexed journal outlets ( 67), high worth books (5), and classy chapters in solid reputable published bo
of reading (5). He has supervised (9) M.Ed dissertation and (10) P.hD
theses. He is a member of eighteen professional associations or
societies both home and abroad.
Professor Lawanson Agbani Briggs is a father of three (one male and two females) and a grand father of six. He enjoys reading, playing tennis, health counselling and listening to melodious music ( Blues and Gospel music).