Youth officers appreciate sexual reproductive health training

19 Oct 2013 09:50am
OPUWO, 19 OCT (NAMPA) – Youth officers from seven different regions who attended a six-day sexual reproductive health and gender issues’ training workshop in the Kunene Region, said it was very resourceful.
Most felt that the training came at just the right time.
The six-day training came to an end on Saturday, and was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Emily Karambuka from the Kavango East said the training topics were appealing to the youth in her region, especially sexual reproductive health, because her region is faced with many teenage pregnancies, single parenting and “sugar daddies”.
Karambuka said the knowledge she has gained from the training can help her address some of these problems together with the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture and other crucial line ministries such as Health and Social Services; and Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
She gave an example of the Sauyema Combined School in Kavango East, where 10 girls had dropped out of school because of pregnancies this year alone.
The main causes of this problem are a lack of food and material poverty, in a time when young people want to own mobile phones and nice clothes.
Young girls tend to fall victim to “sugar daddies”, a term used to refer to men with money, mostly older men, who at times impregnate and dump them, resulting in the girls bringing up their children as single mothers.
Some young women even dump their babies, and/or abuse alcohol because of depression.
Another youth officer from the Zambezi Region, Ben Munyandi said the workshop gave him confidence to be able to talk publicly about sex education with his sisters and friends which is a taboo in his culture.
Munyandi said in Kongola, where he is from, the youth are afraid to go to clinics or use condoms or any other method of contraception like the injection, because girls get stigmatized as sex workers.
He said this explains the high rate of HIV/AIDS infections in the Zambezi Region.
The training is organised by the Youth Ministry in collaboration with the National Council of Namibia to equip youth officers with health information to incorporate it in their youth programmes.
The Ministry of Youth has youth-friendly clinics at their multi-purpose centres in some regions where youths can enquire about reproductive health issues.
The youth officers are being prepared for those activities in their regions, as all regions are going to be given youth-friendly clinics which would be run by nurses in the near future.
These clinics mostly deal with reproductive health issues, sexually-transmitted diseases, and some youth centres conduct HIV tests and councel the youths afterwards.
The regions that participated in the training are Kavango East, !Karas, Zambezi, Erongo, Omaheke, Khomas and Kunene.