Prevention of teenage pregnancy and STDs for southern girls
More than 300 school-going teenagers in the Karas Region had to leave school during the 2012/2013 financial year due to pregnancy.
In order to curb the increase in teenage pregnancies and create awareness amongst young people on sexual and reproductive health, the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association together with the Ministries of Health & Social Services and Youth, National Service, Sport & Culture, last week launched a youth clinic in Keetmanshoop.
According to the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA) the youth clinic initiative was prompted by the lack of access to youth-friendly health services, which largely contributes to the increase in teenage pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
“The initiative to open Youth Friendly Health Clinics comes in the wake of a number of researchers and studies conducted country-wide. These studies have revealed the extent to which youth have endured limited access to friendly reproductive health services.
There has been overwhelming evidence that suggests the lack of access to youth friendly services, largely contributes to the daily misfortunes facing the youth, notably teenage pregnancies, the spread of sexually transmitted infections and alcohol abuse,” said Sam Ntelamo, NAPPA Country Director.
The only response to these challenges, according to Ntelamo, is to bring youth-friendly services “closer to those underserved young people, because they greatly benefit their health livelihoods.”
The Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA) is a non-profit organisation and is registered as a welfare organisation with the Ministry of Health & Social Services. Its objective is to work with young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in complementing the government’s efforts to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services.
NAPPA’s clinics offer services such as cervical cancer screening, unplanned pregnancy counselling, pregnancy tests, family planning services, ante-natal care as well as counselling on sexual reproductive health, sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).
Ntelamo said the facility will attempt to “eliminate disparities by providing services that are extended towards the hard to reach and most at-risk and vulnerable groups” within the community.
“Our key goal is to assist and ensure that our country attains the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Therefore, our services are aligned to the existing developmental frameworks, which among others include the Vision 2030 and the subsequent national development plans as these plans clearly outline ways on how the upliftment of our people’s health standards can be achieved,” he said.