More investment needed for life skills-based HIV and health education

03 October 2021 | Education

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has urged Namibia to invest more in life skills education to assist accelerate the country’s efforts towards addressing issues of sexual and reproductive health for young people.
Its officer for education for health and wellbeing Aina Kantewa, during a three-day capacity building workshop for members of parliament on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and life skills-based HIV and health education said there is a lot of misinformation and misconception regarding comprehensive sexuality education in the communities that need to be addressed.
Kantewa at the workshop held at Swakopmund from Friday to Sunday, noted that it is important that parliament approves and endorse funds for life skills education and SRHR for young people.
“Parliament is critical to advocating for budget allocation to strengthen the delivery of life skills-based HIV and Health Education and provision of SRH services for young people.”

Recognising responsibility
Namibia, she said is among 20 countries that have committed to Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) which among others recognises the responsibility of the states in implementing effective strategies to educate and protect all children, adolescents and young people, including those living with disabilities, from early and unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, risks of substance misuse and to combat all forms of discrimination and rights violations including child marriage.
According to Kantewa, progress has been made in formulating policy frameworks that guide the provision of HIV and SRHR Services, saying life skills-based HIV and health education is offered in 95.5 per cent of schools while life skills education curriculum for out of school youth is also in place.
However early and unintended pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence remains high, while there is a low compressive knowledge on HIV and AIDS among young people. Data presented at the workshop reflects that between March and December 2020, 3 235 learners got pregnant.
“The country, therefore, needs to strengthen the provision of quality CSE and SRHR services which requires the services of skilled and competent personnel,” Kantewa said. – Nampa

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