The world today has the largest generation of young people aged 10-24 years. These large numbers of young people are growing up with numerous challenges including teenage pregnancy, early marriage and high HIV infections. However many African countries continue to face structural and socio cultural factors that hinder progress on Adolescent sexual reproductive health. These include limited budget allocations on child and adolescent health, cultural and social norms especially gender based inequity and high levels of gender based violence and poor governance.
On this day of the African child, African governments including Kenya have the opportunity to refocus their attention to the provision of comprehensive sexuality education as a social vaccine to most health related problems facing children. Sexuality education simply means age appropriate culturally relevant approach to teaching about sex and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic and non judgmental information.
Emerging trends in practice and evidence have shown that CSE does not foster early or increased sexual activity and that CSE programmes that include, and effectively address, gender inequality and power relations are more likely to reduce unwanted pregnancy and STIs.
CSA joins the rest of the world in marking the day of the African child by calling for scale up of school based programmes that strengthen teachers’ capacity to deliver CSE while reflecting on gender, power sexuality and rights (WHO, ARO)
By Albert Obbuyi