Youth should be empowered on contraceptive use: Haufiku

19 Feb 2018 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 19 FEB (NAMPA) – Young people should be empowered on the use of family planning, Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) Bernhard Haufiku said at the launch of the Integrated Early Childhood Development Framework here on Monday.
Haufiku said the youth should be empowered with the knowledge and skills to be able to make decisions on when to start a family.
“I believe that if there is proper planning on the youth side on when to have a family, there will be less unwanted children and abortions.”
He said there will also be more parents who are aware that up to four years of age, a child needs to be in Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes.
He further stressed that many people who have unplanned children do not consider ECD programmes as the idea is to merely survive.
Coupled to that, many of the unplanned children are either in the care of one single parent, mostly the mother, or the grandparents.
“We need to face the empowerment of contraceptives head-on because if we do not, we will keep on making policies without tackling the bottom cause of what leads us to those policies,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, First Lady Monica Geingos echoed the health minister’s call, adding that education on contraception will help curb the level of poverty in the country.
Geingos emphasised that government cannot plan for enough schools if there is no guideline on what it is planning for.
“When you look at teenage pregnancy statistics and the number of unplanned children, it shows when it comes to government having to provide for sufficient infrastructure,” she said.
Namibia is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the launch of the ECD Framework served part of a three-day coordination conference with government ministries and agencies as well as development partners in support of the framework.
The event, which ends on Wednesday, is being held under the theme ‘Act together – Investing in the Early Years of our Children for a Prosperous Nation’.