No lockdown on sex, experts warn teens

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Health experts are concerned about the rising cases of HIV/AIDS infections especially in the time of coronavirus lockdown.

“We must note that access to sexual reproductive care services is a fundamental human right but that’s not happening because right now, everyone is concentrating on COVID-19,” said Zaitun Nabateregga, Programs Head at HeDCO.

Appearing on NTV Wednesday morning, Zaitun said the measures that have been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 have made people poorer so they are debating whether to use the little they have for food or for sexual reproductive health services including family planning.

Nagis Shiraz, Public Health Consultant, Women Deliver, says 1 in every 4 Ugandans is an adolescent between the age of 10-19 and this is when they start to discover themselves.

Victoria University

“So, they really need a lot of information on sexual reproductive health.”

She added: “We are in lockdown but I want to assure you that there is no lockdown on sex and if that is the case while sexual reproductive services are absent, there is going to be a problem post COVID-19.”

Nagis says young people are not comfortable walking into all hospitals to seek reproductive health services.

“Those that were youth-friendly were closed down and that’s really limiting.”

In COVID-19 times, accessibility and availability of sexual reproductive services for both the young and old have been totally disrupted, noted Alain Sibenaler, Country Representative UNFPA.

“That is why we are working towards partnering with Safe Boda and KCCA to see if there is a better way of delivering services like contraceptives to people in their homes.”

Joseph Kasaija, Sexual Reproductive health Consultant, said many young people out there are dying while conducting abortions all because “we don’t want to learn that sexual reproductive services are crucial”.

“We also continue to ask parents to not leave the duty of teaching children about reproductive health to teachers alone, it should be an effort from both parties.”

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