By Elias Hakizimana.
A local organization dubbed ‘Health Development Initiative’ (HDI) and partner health activists’ organizations in Rwanda call for concerned entities to give youth adequate information on sexual and reproductive health in line with combating unwanted pregnancies and Sexual Transmitted Illnesses (STIs).
The message was given during an extra-ordinary meeting organized by HDI in partnership with Imbuto Foundation last week to remind all local organizations that cater for Sexual and Reproductive Health about child rights and especially fighting against unwanted pregnancies among teenagers as well as the use of family planning.
Athanase Rukundo, the Operation Manager in HDI said that main intervention is to give adequate information to youths.
“It is still a challenge for youth under 18 years old to access to Health Reproductive services such as family planning. We are here to discuss and see what can be done to tackle the problem of unwanted pregnancies and advocate for youth to access to reproductive health services,” Rukundo said.
He added that there should be many ways to go through handling these issues and it requires joint efforts to succeed.
“We are thinking about many solutions to tackle these issues of concern, they must be giving adequate information to youth or allowing them access to reproductive healthcare services and this requires joint collaboration of concerned entities. There is still a big number of children who experience defilement, we are thinking on the possibility to reach out men and mature boys and give them information on how these crimes are dangerous and then after proceed by penalties to offenders,” Rukundo added, noting that a child needs information about sexual and reproductive health as a service at health center as well as at school.
Patience Iribagiza, Executive Director of AFRO ARK organization that caters for rights of key population said that they will soon approach parents, youth and health service providers to brief them about the role of family planning among the youths.
“We are going to look for a sustainable solution together and we are going to mobilize parents on how they can talk to their children about sexual reproductive health and what decisions to make in case they make unprotected sex,” Iribagiza noted.
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