By Robert Tapfumaneyi
The Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) has launched its first online consultation on the challenges young people face in relation to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
The discussion, which began yesterday, will run on the Partners Zimbabwe eForum for three weeks. It will centre around the following three key issues, which have been recommended by experts in the SRHR field:
- Whether young people are more afraid of pregnancy than STIs and HIV.
- The challenges faced by young people in accessing youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services.
- The sexual and reproductive health and rights challenges faced by young people with disabilities.
SAfAIDS, in partnership with groups such as Padre/Men’s Forum, Women Action Group, Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Action team, launched a sexual and reproductive health and rights project for young people in 2011 to compliment government efforts in addressing SRHR challenges faced by young people.
The online consultation is part of a project entitled Investing in the young is investing in the future: promoting access to sexual and reproductive health and rights among adolescents and young people in Zimbabwe. The project aims to raise awareness and to create a supportive environment for adolescents and young people in accessing their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
SAfAIDS said it wants to reach out to policy makers at all levels, service providers, parents and guardians, young people, media, and youth coalitions through different platforms. Since 2011, SAfAIDS has used advocacy platforms, awareness platforms, and capacity development of journalists, youth coalitions, and young people on SRHR issues for young people.
In addition, radio and television discussions, mobile cinemas, SMS and edutainment have also been used by SAfAIDS to reach out to wider audiences. Various IEC materials were also developed and distributed to raise awareness and increase visibility of the programme.
This eForum will build on these resources and will engage experts from the country to stimulate lively exchange and constructive dialogue on SRHR needs, including bringing to the fore the key barriers and challenges young people face in accessing effective HIV and SRH services.
The online discussion will take place on Partners Zimbabwe eForum from the 16 October to 3 November 2012.
For more information on joining the efourm contact firstname.lastname@example.org