Equality Project Launches Comprehensive Manual to empower Adolescents, Parents to break Silence on Sexual and Reproductive Health
The Equality Project recently unveiled an enlightening manual aimed at addressing information barriers surrounding Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) between adults and adolescents. The event took place on Friday, January 26, 2024, at the Nkwen Baptist Center, bringing together key stakeholders such as the Regional Delegations of Public Health, Secondary Education, Social Affairs, healthcare providers, and the media. This visually captivating manual tackles the concerns faced by young people regarding their sexual health, covering topics ranging from effective communication to guidance for parents and adults on navigating conversations with younger individuals.
Entitled “Breaking the Silence on SRH,” the manual serves as a guide for both parents and adolescents, providing evidence-based information on the challenges commonly encountered by adolescents. It specifically addresses the increasing prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among adolescents, particularly those with limited or no formal education.
Dr. Ambe Lionel, the Focal Point for Sexual Reproductive Health at the Ministry of Health, emphasized the document’s significance during his presentation. Global statistics reveal that by the age of 19, about 42% of young women have already given birth, while 49.1% of girls aged 15 to 19 have initiated reproductive life. The prevalence of early reproductive life is notably higher in rural areas compared to urban areas, with figures of 25.6% and 10.2%, respectively.
Additionally, it is worth noting that adolescents experience the worst outcomes of HIV-related deaths. Dr. Lionel stated, “This manual provides firsthand information and guidance on addressing challenges that predispose adolescents to risks such as early pregnancies, STIs, and sexual violence.”
The Director of Health Services’ representative, Mr. Wango Barnabas, commended the CBC Health Services for their commitment to working with children and adolescents in various capacities. He expressed his belief that the manual would serve as a valuable resource, offering support to parents and adults seeking to engage in meaningful discussions with the younger generation.
Enthusiastic about the manual’s potential impact, participants pledged their support and commitment to enhancing public discourse and understanding of Sexual and Reproductive Health. Mrs. Awa Fanny, Project Manager of the Equality Project, shared her expectations for stakeholders, urging healthcare providers, religious authorities, and teachers to utilize the manual to educate young people, particularly those living with HIV, and conduct sensitization programs in schools and communal spaces. She highlighted sections in the manual that guide parents in initiating meaningful conversations and initiating SRH education.
This comprehensive manual is designed for use by individuals across all levels of society, catering to both community members and learned persons. It aligns with the project’s objectives of empowering adolescents, fostering resilience, and promoting independence, while also creating safe and supportive communities where adolescent-friendly services can be provided to enable young people to lead healthy lives.