The whole topic of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) for the youths has been and remains a challenge for many developing countries.
Despite the services being provided in the public SRH units and Health institutions, many youths do not have enough knowledge on this subject.
This has come out as an issue of concern, raising an eyebrow on the reasons that could be leading to such a scenario.
Here are some of the main key walls for accessibility to SRH services;
Cultural attitude – Many African communities do not allow sexual activities before marriage. Many youths think that when they visit the SRH units, they will be perceived to be immoral. Parents highly demoralize relationships among youth, and topics like relationships and sex are taboo to talk about with parents.
Some consultancy not done in privacy – Most facilities have their consultancy room in a very noticeable setting where others can listen to the discussion. Sometimes youths having to wait in an open area makes them feel uncomfortable hence opting not to go for SRH.
Geographical distance – Some health facilities especially in rural areas are far away for them to be accessed so easily. This makes it hard for the youths to travel to the facilities to get services. This mostly affects adolescent girls who can’t get the means of transport.
Shyness and fear – Many youths especially those in their adolescent stage shy off to talk to SRH service providers with the fear of being judged.
Decent sexual and reproductive health relates to having a safe and satisfying sex life, with the right to decide whether or not you are ready to be a parent, at what time, and how you are going to manage it in your life.
Access to information on sexual health is essential, as it gives one the capability to choose a variety of contraceptive options, without going through stigmatization or judgment.
It is also vital to have access to maternal health services during pregnancy and childbirth, to guarantee safe pregnancy for both mother and child.
A lack of sexual and reproductive health services has highly contributed to the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, such as HIV. This highly impacts the health, well-being, and livelihoods of families.
Conversely, as youths fail to show up for these services because of the mentioned reasons above, in response to that, government and non-governmental organizations have come up with digital platforms where youths can reach such information and enhance youth engagement such as Yunitok, Pathfinders and there are also non-governmental organizations such as I Choose Life-Africa who equip youths with knowledge on Sexual Reproductive Health through their pieces of training.