Category : Naya Blog
By Michael Oliech Okunson (@MikeOkunson)
Despite the loud silence on issues abortion, incidences of unsafe abortion continue to rise, more so in institutions of higher learning. This is actually contrary to what most people think. Aren’t they supposed to be more learned and thus averse to risky sexual behavior that would make them require unsafe abortions? Aren’t they more aware of the effects of unsafe abortions such as bleeding, damage to organs, sterility and even death?
Truth is students in institutions of higher learning still do not have adequate access to comprehensive sexuality information and sexual and reproductive health services.
I was in Maseno University the other day for a dialogue on unsafe abortion and the statistics and testimonies were pretty shocking.
More than 50 girls had undergone unsafe abortion. Some of the incidences had been procured by medical students, many others by quacks on the outskirts of the university and yet others swallowed bitter concoction of tea leaves and concentrated juices to get rid of their pregnancies.
Although there were no cases of mortalities that the meeting heard, the psychological and physical effects of unsafe abortion demands that the strongest proponents and the strongest opposition agree on fundamentals of taking the agenda forward.
Now more than ever, we need youth friendly services in our institutions of higher learning. In most of our universities we only have hospitals and majority of its staff are old men and women whom the youths do not feel free to confide in. I am very sure that there are plenty of well-trained young doctors out there the government can employ in the university hospitals to attract more youths to visit such facilities for guidance and assistance. We also need to equip these hospitals with all the equipment and tools necessary for providing the highest standards of health including reproductive health care.
There is also need for more reproductive health programs that will help in creating awareness among the young people to practice safe sex at all times. Most of our young men and women in these learning institutions believe in sex myths.
Parents also need to have a sex talk with their sons and daughters. It has been proven that parent youth communication on sexual and reproductive health and rights actually saves lives. Yet most of the parents shy away when it comes to sex talk.
Young people are among the most vulnerable groups in the country and deliberate steps must be taken to ensure they are healthy and ready to play their part in contributing to Vision 2030 and other local, regional and global development agenda.
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