Parents and local leaders have been called upon to sensitise the youth about their sexual and reproductive rights to help reduce on HIV infections through prevention.
This was during the launch of Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Day (ASRH&R Day) at Rubaya sector, Gicumbi District on Friday.
The campaign was conducted under the theme, “It is your right to access to ASRH&R services.”
Speaking at the event, Henriette Umulisa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion urged parents and local leaders to cooperate with stakeholders in providing youth with enough information regarding Sexual and Reproductive Health to enable them better plan for their future.
“The youth contain majority of our population and the future of this nation and so they deserve to have information and knowledge regarding Sexual and Reproductive Health. This will help adolescents, specifically girls, to better plan for their future by valuing their lives,” she said.
The Vice mayor of Gicumbi District, Charlotte Benihirwe, who was the guest of honour emphasised the need for parents and local leaders to protect the youth by teaching them Rwandan values.
“Our nation is developing at a fast pace and we cannot move at the pace we want when the youth are risking their lives. Parents should develop a habit of discussing with their children issues regarding reproductive health as well as teach them our values as Rwandans. It is our responsibility as parents and community leaders to secure their future,” she said.
Hundreds of youth, parents and local leaders who attended the event were given free HIV testing and counselling services. Imbuto foundation also donated 80 booklet copies of Agaciro Kanjye to Groupe Scolaire Gishambashayo, as reference guide for students to further inform them on their Sexual and Reproductive rights promote HIV prevention and unwanted pregnancies.
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.