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Nyanza Counties Still Lead In HIV Prevalence Among Adolescents As KMET Pushes For Sexuality Education In Curriculum

Approximately 9,545 adolescents got infected by HIV/AIDs in the four lake region Counties in the year 2015 while 771 from the same counties died of AIDs related complications.

This is according to a report by National Aids Control Council (NACC) in conjunction with United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The four counties, that is Migori, Homabay, Kisumu and Siaya contributed to 53percent of the total national new infections amongst adolescents aged 10-19 years in the same year.

The report revealed that 8 adolescents contract HIV every single day in Homabay a county that has a higher prevalence rate at 25 higher than that of the national which is at 6 percent.

This and other pertinent reasons like early pregnancies have thus informed the move by Kisumu Medical Education Trust (KMET) to partner with UNICEF and other partners inculcate a comprehensive sexuality Education curriculum.

READ: Nairobi Women On The Spot For Smoking Heroine, Bang laced Shisha; Report

The CSE seeks to provide learners with age appropriate, scientifically accurate, non-judgmental and culturally relevant information coupled with opportunities to practice decision making, communication and other skills needed to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health being.

“As an organization, we fathomed that lack of adequate preparation among learners has resulted to increased vulnerability and unintended pregnancies, STI, coercion and that the young learners have a right to sexual and reproduction health information services,” Sam Owoko, the project Manager of KMET said.

Delay in debut of sexual activity is one area the CSE seeks to achieve with statistics by NASCOP revealing that girls in Kenya begin engage in in sexual activity as early as 10 years while boys start at 15 years.

The report also exposed that nearly 50 percent of all adolescents living with HIV in the Country live in six counties with the four from the lake region topping the list and Nairobi and Mombasa clocking the six.

This therefore creates a need for increased use of protection against unintended pregnancies and STIs and the curriculum will provide the adolescents with the relevant information in that regard as 13percent of prevention of mother to child transmission are amongst adolescent mothers.

In 2015, Kenya signed an MOU as part of East and Southern Africa to implement the CSE while counties like Burundi are already in the advanced stages of implementation.

“Young people face significant challenges to their sexual and reproductive health and realizing their full potential,” Owoko said.

The education sector it goes without saying has a critical role to play and an opportunity to prepare learners for leading sexually healthy lives.

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Kahawa Tungu

Written by Kahawa Tungu

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