KYAMBOGO – Parents and teachers have been urged to break the silence about sexuality and directly engage in sharing knowledge with their children about Sexual Health information to promote a culture of understanding and acceptance among youths.
In an Inter-University Dialogue (IUD2023) which was organised by Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) at Kyambogo University, under the theme: Unpacking the complexities of Sexual Health, Students, lecturers, politicians, experts in reproductive health discussed health issues and broke the silence about the untold stories of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, teenage pregnancies among University students and also deeply talked about the proper use of contraceptives.
Dr. Jessica Nsungwa, the Commissioner, Maternal and Child Health, Ministry of Health who was the guest of honour, called up parents and teachers to prioritise sharing knowledge in Sexual Health information.
Nsungwa said sexual reproductive health and awareness, is a topic that should be discussed openly and comfortably without shame or judgment and by promoting education and breaking stigma we can create an environment where sex health is prioritised in everything we do.
She added that cubing challenges related to SRHR and sexual health, in particular, is a collective responsibility. We ought to adopt a multi-sectorial approach to breaking the barriers.
“Dismantle the taboo around sexual health rather than spread awareness and eliminate stigma,” Dr. Jessica Nsungwa said
Mrs. Bridget Mugume, the Kyambogo University Dean of Students expressed concerns about parents not wanting to talk to their children about sexual health.
“I’m also encouraging the parents, we cannot hide this, we need to talk to our students, we need to talk to our children about contraceptives, we need to give them all the information they need about sexuality so that they make informed decisions.” Mrs Bridget Mugume said.
She called up Institutions of higher learning to spearhead the campaign of Sexual Education and awareness in their campuses.
“As us people in institutions, we need to encourage students to press a little bit. We have had issues of early pregnancies, where young people give birth early, it is important that we give them a second chance.” She added.
Mr Jackson Chekweko the Executive Director, Reproductive Health Uganda said that one of the challenges is that they have not handled well the issue of appropriate sex education in schools. He urged students who are exposed to sex to adopt the use of contraceptives.
“Yes, we prefer that every child abstains until the right time, but for those who are already engaged in active sex, we are asking them to have protection, protection against HIV, protection against unplanned pregnancies and we have we have contraceptives Morden contraceptives like PEP, we have methods that keep away from unplanned pregnancy for three years.” He said.
Betty Ethel Naluyima, the Wakiso Woman MP urged parents and teachers to give young girls who dropped out of school because of teenage Pregnancies a chance to go back and study.
“I came up with the ‘Naffe Tusome’ initiative in my constituency to ensure that the young girls can go back. This innovative solution came after the COVID-19 surge where Wakiso was ranked with over 10,000 Teenage Pregnancy cases.” She said.
Dr. Allan Kasozi, reminded the students to practice the ABCs which are Abstinence, Being faithful, and using a Condom.
He said that the Ministry of Health is here to partner with the university and different stakeholders to extend the most affordable and friendly services to students.
“We need to work together to ensure the well-being of students is reached.” He said.