BY JUDY ODHIAMBO
A few weeks ago, two girls from my neighborhood in Migori County were confirmed pregnant. Later, they said that they had been denied an implant since it was forbidden at their school in Suna East subcounty
A few weeks prior to this, some three girls died while trying to carry out an abortion from an unqualified service provider – they went to that woman because she was cheaper, did not judge them, and guaranteed confidentiality.
I think that parents should be open and free with their young girls to talk to them about contraceptives and allow them to use when needed. Time has proven that we cannot continue denying that young people are sexually active whether we like it or not.
They should not be prevented from or stigmatized for accessing contraceptives just because of the numerous myths we hear from other people concerning contraceptives.
I think we should take a bold step to pass the information concerning the importance of the use of contraceptives among young girls and boys who are sexually active and still have the desire to continue with their schooling without anything coming between.
Sexually active youths should be allowed to choose their preferred contraceptives as long as it does not bring them harmful effects. By doing this the high rate of teenage pregnancies will decline fast. We will also witness a significant drop in the number of youths being infected with HIV and other STIs
I think community meetings should be held as well as rallies to teach people in the community about the importance of using contraceptives among the youths who are sexually active.
This will also be an opportunity to raise awareness about make them aware of the myths that people are spreading about contraceptives, which are not true.
And when any young person wants to use any contraceptive, they should be allowed as we know that most of the youths are sexually active and their life will be better with protection than without.
Let us encourage our girls to use contraceptives to reduce teenage pregnancies, HIV infection, sexually transmitted infections and unsafe abortions.
Ms Odhiambo is a NAYA youth advocate