Today, Monday 26th March the National Youth Council (NYC), County Youth Sensitization Organization, Kitui Youth Mentorship Alliance (KYMA) and Representatives of Universities and Colleges in Kitui held a consultative meeting on the Adolescent and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health (AYSH).
The meeting, which was facilitated by JHPIEGO under the USAID’s Afya Halisi project sought to have youths generate a working framework for effective implementation of the AYSRH agenda in Kitui. Senior County government officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and ICT and the Ministry of Health also graced the occasion.
Among other issues, the young leaders addressed the following critical areas;
1. The young leaders want youthful/adolescent mothers given priorities in bursaries, FP activities and readmission to schools. They noted there is need to shift focus and efforts to helping adolescent/youthful mothers attending school access quality health care and education. In the meeting, there was no doubt that young/adolescent mothers attending day secondary schools and vocational training centers in the rural parts of Kitui need attention. It was noted that the school boys, male teachers and other male predators must be held responsible when they impregnate school going girls in Kitui.
2. They agreed to generate proposals on how to encourage youths to access health centers for clinical information. They explored various ways to ensure youth confidentiality in health centers especially on matters HIV and AIDS.
In the meeting, shocking statistics emerged that in 2017 alone, 8,334 young girls aged 15-19 got pregnant while in school. Over 75% of these girls have never rejoined school and are living in deplorable conditions. Mutomo Ward was leading with 763 reported cases of early pregnancies in 2017 alone.
County government officials noted that this statistics needed to be overturned. Kitui governor was lauded for her concerted efforts for the upcoming universal healthcare cover. Participants noted that H.E Ngilu County Health Insurance Cover will go along way in ensuring that quality health care is affordable to many youths.
The meeting resolved to involve all youth groups and stakeholders across the county for the AYSRH initiative to be successful. The convenor, Aggrey Nzomo, promised to consult a lot during the exercise of mapping all out adolescent/youthful mothers attending schools in Kitui County.
The office of the County Women Rep, Dr Irene Kasalu was also represented. Dr Kasalu, through her PA, promised to be part of the AYSRH initiatives.