This article was first published by Daily Nation on Saturday, March 15, 2014 in the OPED section. (http://bit.ly/1jiRBUJ)
I read Dorothy Kweyu’s article on ‘Who should teach sexuality to children?’ (Sunday Nation March 2, 2014), and I would like to add my voice to the sex education debate.
Sexuality is not a topic that young people want to discuss at home with their parents, or at school with their teachers. Not many parents or teachers are comfortable discussing sex with youngsters either.
The reason our young people get caught up in teen pregnancies, STI infections, unsafe abortions and depression is because we lack enough sexual reproductive health information and services.
With this in mind, the Kenya government drafted a national guideline for provision of adolescent, youth-friendly services in 2005, to bolster sexual reproductive information.
The Youth Peer Provider Model at the Kisumu Medical and Education Trust, for instance, of which I am part, has contributed towards increased uptake of reproductive health services by young women.
With the support of Planned Parenthood Global, Africa, KMET compliments the provision of sexual and reproductive health services in four public and private health facilities in different counties.
With such support, the health providers have been able to provide a variety of reproductive health services at affordable cost service charges taking care of the financial barrier which is usually a concern for rural women and youth.
And as manifestation of the contribution made, there has been a marked reduction in unintended pregnancies, high-risk births and unsafe abortions available statistics would easily verify this.
If such models would be replicated elsewhere, the question of information on sex for our young people is one we would not need to contend with.
Emmanuel Oyier, Kisumu