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Holistic approaches on sexual reproductive health education among youth to contain pressing risks

By Elie Mutangana

Access to medical service, disseminating accurate information and conducting critical researches on sexual reproductive health are highlighted as among approaches that players in social protection are taking advantage of in putting to end pressing challenges from unintended pregnancies among young people.

Lack of reliable information about contraceptive methods and various surrounding misconceptions about contraception potentially put individuals to regrettable risks including; early or unwanted pregnancy and sexual-transmitted diseases (STDS).

Ensuring that young people have accurate information about sexual and reproductive health guarantees their better choices and informed decisions. Without information, they can easily be susceptible to peer-pressure and risky behaviors.

 Rwanda’s mission aims that all women, men, adolescent girls and boys in Rwanda to have universal access to quality integrated FP/ASRH information and services in an equitable, efficient and sustainable manner.

According to Health Development Initiative (HDI), improved availability of quality youth-friendly FP/ASRH services and included plan actions plans such as: increasing adolescents’ knowledge and promotion of their informed uptake of contraception, scaling up adolescents’ access to contraception, and strengthening initiatives to prevent GBV can generate imperatives to community health.

“We carry out interventions mostly based on evidence and we do researches to find where to put our focus during our interventions. For example, we conducted a research on adolescents’ relationship which helped us to execute our interventions to teach adolescents on engaging in safe relationship.” Said Ange Umutoni, Program officer-ASRH at HDI.

She added, “We also conduct awareness campaigns in schools given that our targeted adolescents are in schools. We mobilize in schools what we call ‘Health clubs’ where we educate students about SRH and contraception for enabling them teach their peers”.

Lounge Byiringiro who works at Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health (RICH), a religious umbrella in Rwanda, says fighting against misconceptions surrounding SRH among church goers has been a critical approach to help with generating outcomes in health protection.

It often reported that programs on sexual reproductive health and family planning could be underpinned by religious myths and misinterpretations, thus threatening lives of the followers.

He says that the umbrella involves in teaching religious leaders to include SRH education while preaching as well as in other churches’ programs. With providing accurate information and skills, religious leaders can now shed lights on imperatives from family planning, HIV prevention, safe abortion and GBV to believers to ensure their wellness.

“We mostly focus on young people during our education because they are known to be prone to effects from lack of SRH knowledge. We are also fighting the prevalence of stigma and discrimination to victims such HIV- positive persons in religious communities”. Said Byiringiro.

Rwanda is committed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2035 and has declared adolescent sexual reproductive health a national priority for poverty reduction and socioeconomic development of the country.

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