Parents and local leaders have been called upon to sensitise the youth on prevention of HIV to reduce new infections.
This was during the launch of Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Day (ASRH&R Day) at Butamwa Health Centre, Nyarugenge District, on Tuesday.
The campaign was conducted under the theme, “Access to sexual reproductive health is a right to all adolescents and youth.”
Isabelle Kalisa, a project officer at Imbuto Foundation, noted that it was important for the youth, with the help of parents, to be aware of the health services available to them.
“Children and young adults should know their HIV status. Youth below the age of 30 constitute the majority of the country’s population, which is why they should take good care of themselves so that the country can have youth of substance. Parents should develop a habit of discussing with their children issues regarding reproductive health,” she said.
The National Youth Council coordinator for Nyarugenge District, Fernand Rutabingwa, noted that the district youth council was working closely with government to ensure safety of students as well as promote anti-AIDS campaigns to check HIV rates in the district.
“We are working closely with the government to ensure the safety of students and that they are fully aware of their sexual reproductive rights. HIV rates are still low which is why we are having campaigns to sensitise people more on HIV prevention,” Rutabingwa said.
The campaign by Imbuto Foundation, in partnership with The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, aims at promoting positive behaviour of in and out of school adolescents, towards reproductive and sexual health.
It uses the approach of pairing schools and the community with health centres, to provide adolescents and young adults with knowledge services on these issues, in safe and trusted settings known as youth corners.