As part of the Global Fund for Children project: advancing the dignity of vulnerable children and youth that aims at equipping out of school conflict affected girls with livelihood, apprenticeship, entrepreneurship and reproductive health and providing in school conflict affected girls with psychosocial support and mentoring, counseling, reproductive health which help in raising girls’ confidence, awareness about STDs/HIV/AIDS and early pregnancies and reducing the effects of trauma caused by the conflicts .
RIC-NET carried out a one day reproductive health session which took place at Bundibugyo e-society center and brought 8 girls to the training. The session was facilitated by Mr. Kombi Godfrey on 16th Feb 2015.
|some of the girls after the reproductive health session|
The facilitator took girls through the following elements of reproductive health:
Reproductive Health Rights
Under this topic, the facilitator engaged participants in discussions on reproductive health rights and informed them that as youth, they are entitled to these rights during marriage. These are: a right to freedom from cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, right to quality sexual life, right to information on contraceptives, right to safe abortion, right to child spacing, right to sex without coercion among others. These topics were further explained by the facilitator to generate meaning to the participants.
Benefits of Reproductive health Education plus its sources
The facilitator shared with participants on benefits of reproductive health education and this was after participants had been asked to share their knowledge on this topic and stressed that they had learnt new terms such as female genital mutilation. The facilitator had shared with them what female genital mutilation meant and reasons for its being a barrier to women’s rights.
Participants were asked about sources of reproductive health education and services such as family planning, counseling antenatal and postnatal care. They had this to share: hospitals, health radio talk shows such as straight talk. In addition, the facilitator shared with them others: NGOs, seminars, health centres.
Under this topic, the facilitator reminded participants on seeking reproductive health services from health centres in addition to the already mentioned sources. This is because youth thrust their peers who in most cases hardly have accurate information.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
For basic understanding of Sexually Transmitted Infections, its symptoms, causes and preventive measures, participants were subjected to a video on STI such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis and Chlamydia. The video educated them on risk taking behaviors such as clubbing and taking alcohol. Though their attention had a bit been disrupted by hunger, exposing them to the video improved their listening and communication skills.
During discussions, the facilitator advised participants on seeking medical treatment in scenarios they identified themselves with any symptom of STI. He went ahead in linking sexually transmitted infections to HIV/AIDS where he told participants that a person suffering from STI was at a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and a person suffering from AIDs had higher chances of contracting STIs due to the immune system being invaded by the deadly disease HIV/AIDS. For those sexually active, they were to seek medical treatment together with their partners in cases where one or both partners had an STI.
The facilitator shared with participants on effects of Sexually Transmitted Infections such as leading to blockage of the fallopian tube, putting one at a risk of acquiring cancer such as cervical cancer. In addition, the facilitator informed participants that sexually transmitted infections were not only contracted trough penetrative sex but also anal and oral. Participants were facilitated on this element with the help of visual aids where they watched videos of some STDS.