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Youth Petition Parliament to Fast Track Adolescent Health Policy

Youth from various parts of the country under different organizations have asked Government through Parliament to speed up the process of finalizing with their policies which have been pending enaction for so long.

While participating in the Adolescent Health and Accountability round table held in Kampala, Annah Kukundakwe, the programs officer at CEHURD pointed out that Parliament has been reluctant to pass the National Health School Policy which was drafted 19 years ago.

“We have to first accept that youth in the country are facing a number of challenges, then we can address them. If the National Health Policy was a child, by now he would be ready to cast his vote in 2021 General elections,” Kukundakwe said.

She pointed out that lack of clear policies on sexual and reproductive health has led to the death of many teenagers in pregnancy related complications which could have been avoided in case they had received enough knowledge and use of contraceptives.

“Now more than before, we need the National Sexuality Education frame work to cater for teenagers who are out of school due to the covid-19 pandemic. Although Government has tried to extend to them learning materials, many lack knowledge about their body changes,” she said.

Ms Yvonne Mpambara from Reach a Hand Uganda revealed that as they await the enactment of youth policies, they have been able to use various channels and platforms to sensitize youth in various parts of the country on how to stay healthy and productive.

Dr Dinah Nakiganda, Assistant Commissioner Adolescent and Social Health Division in the Ministry of Health, assured the youth and all stake holders that government is doing whatever is possible to pass the Adolescent Health Policy passed into law before the end of this year.

She also asked all Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) dealing in the sexual and reproductive education of the youth to work together under the guidance of the Ministry of Health for easy outreach to various communities.

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This Roundtable attracted selected youths from various parts of the country, officials from Ministry of Health, Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum, Naguru Teenage center, Marie Stopes Uganda among others.

The National Adolescents Health Policy aims at promoting an adolescent responsive health care system that provides quality information and services to all adolescents including those in hard to reach areas and those in fragile settings.

 

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