Ethiopia and Rwanda share best practices in addressing sexual reproductive health needs for young peopleShare
As progress continues towards the ESA Commitment targets, it is crucial that countries are continuously sharing information and learning from one another. UNFPA and UNESCO Rwanda partnered with Girl Hub and the Ministry of Health to host a delegation from Ethiopia, where they shared best practices related to implementation of adolescent’s sexual and reproductive health and sexuality education in Rwanda.
Rwanda has made excellent strides towards increasing access to sexual and reproductive health care and sexuality education among adolescents:
- There have been significant decreases in maternal mortality – dropping from a rate of 750 (DHS 2005) to 540 (HMIS 2010) per year.
- Health workers who attended deliveries increased by almost 26 per cent in five years. 38 per cent in 2005 (DHS) to 63.5 per cent in 2010 (HMIS).
- There has been a dramatic increase in the uptake of modern contraception from women, moving from 10 to 27 per cent in 3 years (HMIS).
There have also been significant developments in integrating sexuality education into the school curriculum. This has been due, in part, to inclusive health policies and strategies such as the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy.
Though Rwanda was not present at the signing of the ESA commitment in December 2013, policies and strategic documents have been developed that relate to the commitment targets. This includes the adolescent sexual reproductive health and rights policy as well as the HIV and AIDS policy and strategic plans. There is hope that Rwanda will affirm the ESA Commitment in the upcoming year.
The Ethiopia delegation that visited Rwanda included the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Girl Hub Ethiopia where they learned how Rwanda policies and strategic plans are addressing young peoples’ sexual health and knowledge, especially among young girls.
UNFPA, UNESCO and Girl Hub Rwanda provided information on the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) into the school curriculum, highlighting the progress and challenges faced so far.
The Deputy Representative of UNFPA Rwanda, Mr. Daniel Alemu affirmed the importance of to reaching many young people with sexual and reproductive health information in schools, not only across Rwanda but Ethiopia and beyond. “We are very happy and privileged to play this role in sexuality education in Rwanda,” he said.
Mr. Andrew Gasozi Ntwali, Program Officer at UNESCO underlined the need to create a strong partnership under the leadership of Government for a multi-sectorial response with media, other affiliated ministries, civil society organisations, young people and UN agencies. In addition, Ntwali emphasized the value of youth engagement at all stages of development and implementation – including being involved in the design of the new comprehensive sexuality education curriculum. Young people from a variety of youth service organizations in Rwanda have helped in piloting tools, and providing recommendations for improvement.