Kampala. The youth spearheaded by Kabale youth councillor, Ms Catherine Kyomugisha, have petitioned the Parliamentary Health committee to improve the sexual and reproductive health services in order to make them accessible to the youth.
The youth want accessibility to sexuality education improved with the use of trained and peer educators among others. They say lack of sexuality education and access to family planning has contributed to teenage pregnancies.
“There is still need to improve these services because we are still faced with increased teenage pregnancies, mothers dying while giving birth, the persons living with disabilities still not fully enjoying their sexual reproduction health rights,” Ms Kyomugisha said.
According to the research carried out in six districts by Amref Health Africa Uganda, indicates in part that the youth called for health facilities that will receive and care for them without judging them.
“The young people want to be heard by everyone in authority to address their needs. Specific to reproductive health, they want facilities or health centres that will receive them without asking them why they are there before they become what is called the so adult,” Dr Patrick T Kagurusi, the head of program Amref Health Africa in Uganda, said on Monday.
The petition was handed over to Mr Micheal Bukenya, the chairman health parliamentary committee, on Monday.
The petition also stated the need to publish the adolescents clients charter and make it accessible to all and in the known 53 gazetted languages spoken in Uganda, and enhance a social and cultural environment that upholds the sexual health reproductive human rights of young people.
Dr Betty Kyadondo, director of Family Health at the National Population Council revealed that their number one focus on their roadmap is to promote family planning to reduce teenage pregnancy and the large number of dependents that are not working.
“We need to invest in family planning for us to decrease the base of the young people at the bottom of population pyramid. A rural girl on average gets pregnant at the age of 16-17 and an urban girl gets pregnant later. And because of not using family planning they continue to get pregnant,” Dr Kyadondo said.
However, some of the youth refuted introducing contraceptives to the young generation saying it will expose them to the risks of engaging into early sex.