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Engaging Parliamentarians for Better ASRHR programming and Advocacy

In 2014, the Census estimated Uganda’s population to be 34.6 million[1] with a growth rate of more than 3% (one of the highest in the world). The 2016 UBOS statistical abstract indicate an increase in Population by 2million; from 34.6million in 2014 to 36.6million people. 31.7% of the Ugandan population is of young people (10 – 24 years) with 55.0% being under the age of 18 years. This is an indication that Uganda is predominantly young population.

Despite Uganda having a predominantly young population, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health services (ASRH) remain limited and do not address the full needs of adolescents and their sexual and reproductive health rights and as such the young people have continued to face a wide range of SRHR related challenges.

  • Teenage pregnancy still remains High at 24% (  UDHS 2016)
  • Early Childbearing age at 15-19 year
  • Unsafe abortions,
  • Gender-based violence,
  • Drug and substance abuse,
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV.
  • Adolescent childbearing is common in rural and rural urban communities at 27% verses 19%[2]

The Embassy of Sweden is supporting Naguru Teenage Information and Health Centre (NTIHC), a pioneer program in providing youth friendly Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) services in Uganda. The program targets young people (10-24 years). The program advocates for and promotes access to quality Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Services and Information to young people. UDHS 2016 indicate that only 46% females and 45% males (15-24 years) were found to have comprehensive knowledge in HIV which is all below average.  NTIHC is therefore working towards addressing such information and knowledge gaps among the young people.

Justification

In Uganda, the Parliament is very instrumental in making legislation, budgetary approvals, and monitoring government programmes. The parliament is therefore key in improving and addressing Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health needs and services’ delivery.

And on that premise, NTIHC therefore finds it prudent to avail parliamentarians with evidence based information on ASRHR, share practical approaches to addressing adolescent Health challenges to support their efforts in the review and enactment of laws and policies to better the ASRHR situation of Uganda.

This particular engagement shall therefore target the Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA) team from the 10th Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

[1] UBOS 2016 Statistical Abstract

[2] Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2016

 

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