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Gov’t to roll out Life skills curriculum on reproductive health

The Ministry Health in conjunction with Education will roll out a life skills curriculum for learners to understand reproductive health.

Dr Edward Serem, Head of the Maternal and Reproductive Health Division at the Ministry of Health (MOH) said the government has put in place appropriate measures to address challenges facing adolescents, women, and youth.

Serem was speaking at the sixth Annual Scientific Conference on Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR) convened by Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) jointly with the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and FP 2030 in partnership with the Ministry of Health at a hotel in Diani.

“We are currently reviewing the comprehensive strategy to deliver age-appropriate, culturally acceptable information including abstinence, prevention of HIV, STIs, and leverage on life skills education for adults and youths in schools and out of school including tertiary,” Serem said.

The life skills curriculum developed from reproductive maternal health is supposed to be taught in primary and secondary schools.

“This is the primary intervention, giving information and education to the young,” he said, adding that Community Health Promoters (CHPs) will be engaged to reach those out of school.

Serem said parents will also be sensitized on positive parenting through community dialogues, and more youth-friendly healthcare facilities will be open to provide comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services including family planning to the age-appropriate.

“To further widen access to youth-friendly services, pharmacists have been included and are being trained to provide short-term injectable contraceptives,” said Serem.

He added that the Ministry of Health will promote the establishment of psychosocial support programmes to counsel and guide adolescents and youths affected by alcoholism and drug abuse.

Serem reiterated the government’s commitment to international treaties on sexual and reproductive health services.The Government is committed to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.7 which put a lot of emphasis on the provision of universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services,” Serem said.

“Over the last two decades Kenya has made efforts to develop policies, and guidelines and expand service delivery in response to reproductive health issues including enhancing access to adolescence and youth-friendly clinics this has been spearheaded by the Ministries of Health, Education and Development partners,” he said.

On his part, Netherlands Ambassador Maarten Brouwer noted that the topic of sexual and reproductive health remains at the core of development.

“We envisage a world where everyone can access the quality of health services. We aim to contribute more to help adolescent girls and young women from underserved and unserved communities be meaningfully included in all decision-making regarding harmful practices, sexual and gender-based violence, and unintended pregnancies,” he said.

RHNK Dr.John Nyamu who is the Chairman said the conference provides a platform for stakeholders to network and engage with donor organizations to chart pathways for collaborative SRHR advocacy.

Nyamu urged the government to implement policies and international treaties it has ratified on reproductive health.

“We are not short of policies in the country just as is in other countries on the continent. What we lack is the political goodwill to implement the policies and enhance reproductive health services by our people,” said Nyamu.

By Sadik Hassan


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