Parents not involved in SRHR promotion-YONECO
Parents do not discuss issues concerning SRH with their children as a result children lack motivation to access SRH services and information in hospitals and this is fueling to early pregnancy.
Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) has bemoaned lack of parents’ involvement in promoting Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) by, among other things, inspiring their children to access SRH services and information in hospitals in the country.
Speaking on Tuesday in Lilongwe during a meeting aimed at enhancing partnerships for improved access to SRHR and HIV services amongst adolescents, YONECO Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Daniel Chikatentha said that most of the youth in the country they shun accessing SRH services in hospitals as they lack motivation from their parents.
“Most of the parents do not discuss issues concerning SRH with their children as a result children lack motivation to be accessing SRH services and information in the hospitals and this is fueling to early pregnancies and spreading of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among the youth in the country,” Chikatentha said.
He added that YONECO is working together with its stakeholders, including parents, government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to agree on the age which youth are supposed to start accessing SRH services and information in hospitals in the country.
“We are trying to lobby harmonization of age of consent in which adolescents can start accessing SRH services and information in hospitals and on this we are working together with our stakeholders including parents, CSOs and the government through the Ministry of health.
“Evidence has repeatedly drawn linkages between restrictions to access SRH services based on the age of young people and there is emerging evidence pointing to the need to prioritize addressing the legal and policy barriers to young peoples access to the services,” he said.
Speaking at the same meeting, Parliamentary Women Caucus Chairperson Who is also a Member of Parliament for Lilongwe North Constituency, Monica Chayanganamuno, said that there is need for parents to be engaging their children in discussions concerning SRH.
“Young people are in homes and they are with parents and these parents are the ones that need to engage their own children when talking issues of SRH,” Chayanganamuno said.
However, she said that there is also need for CSOs and government to hold civic education among the parents in order for them to be able to freely talk about issues concerning SRH with their children.
“In our culture people have been saying that parents are not supposed to be talking on topics of sex with their children, with this there is also the need of more civic education to be done to the parents so that they should be able to talk SRH issues with their children,” she explained.