Kenya has launched adolescent sexual and reproductive health guide to help contain new HIV infections, teenage pregnancies and Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mutahi Kagwe said that the guide will help the adolescents, especially those in urban centres and towns who are tech-savvy in accessing helpful information from the digital space.
“The information on the internet has education and communication on nutrition, personal hygiene and physical activity which will help adolescents become more healthier and responsible individuals,” Kagwe said during the launch in Nairobi.
Kagwe noted that information on social media provides some pointers for the adolescents on how to navigate the virtual space responsibly.
He said that adolescents require special attention and guidance today due to the rapid modernization, globalization and technological advancements since they are currently exposed to more information than ever before.
The official observed that the guide is being launched on a modern and interactive web platform targeting adolescents to enable them access information that pertains to their wellbeing.
He added that the guide will not only empower the current generation of adolescents, but also empower the country’s future generation
Kagwe noted that Kenya’s 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) results show that these young people face several sexual and reproductive health challenges such as teenage pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unsafe abortions and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Other challenges, he said, include child marriages, drugs and substance abuse, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) and other adverse health, social, mental and economic consequences.
He added that the guide has been developed in consideration that a proportion of adolescents engage in early and risky sexual initiation but lack access to key information.
The guide, titled ‘Understanding Adolescence’ is aimed at providing the adolescents with accurate information on issues around sexual and reproductive health since majority in this age bracket often times unknowingly make unguided and poor decisions on matters regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
The guide provides useful and critical information about the challenges and solutions that come with growth and development as an adolescent.