Uganda Still Lagging Behind in Fostering Adolescent Health

A cross section of stakeholders in health sector and local government are meeting in Kampala to take stock on the state of adolescent health in Uganda.

The conference that began on Wednesday brings together medical personnel, decease CAOs, information pills DHOs, salve Village Health Teams and development partners.

Speaking to ChimpReports on the sidelines of the conference, USAID senior pediatrics and HIV/AIDS specialist Dr Edson Muhwezi said Uganda is still lagging behind in issues concerning adolescent health.

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“We are supposed to have youth friendly services but we stand at 15 percent currently. Expansion of services is still low and not institutionalized. The reliance on aid isn’t sustainable” he said.

He went on to say issues like comprehensive sexual education and curriculum development are still dragging.

Dr. Muhwezi says parents as stakeholders haven’t also done enough due to the existing cultural differences.

“Parents find it hard to discuss sexual matters with children. They lack skills to bring out this information but some don’t even have the information” he added.

Outstanding issues raised by participants included: sexual harassment, lack of school nurses and counselors and abortion.

Speaking during the conference, Ismael Mulindwa the assistant commissioner for private secondary schools, Ministry of Education said Uganda is progressing in line with ESA [East and South Africa] commitments.

Education ministers in 20 east and southern Africa countries met in South Africa in 2013 and endorsed the 10 ESA commitments to deal with adolescent health.

The key objective was to bring education and health sectors together in efforts to expand access to quality sexuality education.

So far, Uganda has made steps in achieving EASA commitments including: developing a curriculum on sexual health, multi-sectorial cooperation and reviewing laws.

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