Following the outbreak of the pandemic, a number of reports continue to indicate a significant rise in sexual and reproductive health challenges amongst young people.
Some of these include teenage pregnancies, child marriages, unsafe abortion, sexual and genderbased violence, as well as limited access to basic SRHR services and information. It is also quite evident that the mental health of these young people has continued to be affected, yet little attention has been paid to finding ways to mitigate this issue.
This can be owed to the fact that young people, whose formal education has been interrupted for the longest time leaving them idle and exposed to risky behavior, now more than ever do not have universal access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, as well as information on how to ensure their mental wellbeing.
It is against this background that the Inter University Dialogue (IUD), an annual event spearheaded by Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), takes into consideration emerging socio-economic challenges at hand and continues to bring a variety of stakeholders together in order to deliberate on the best possible ways that young people can have their wellbeing ensured both effectively.
The International University of East Africa is set to host the dialogue on sexuality under the the theme “Creating safe spaces for inclusive and meaningful youth participation is accessing SRHR information amidst covid-19 pandemic” on Saturday 4th December 2021.
Purpose of the dialogue
The overall purpose of the dialogue is to contribute towards strengthening inclusive and meaningful participation of young people in Universities in promoting safe spaces in accessing SRHR information and services amidst COVID-19.
The specific objectives of this dialogue are:
-To reflect on the current state of young people’s sexual and reproductive health as well as mental health.
-To reflect on emerging SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) issues as a result of government and community response to the pandemic in learning institutions.
The dialogue shall also be hybrid in nature with a physical interaction with virtual discussions via digital platforms considering the existence of SOPs.
Topics of discussion are;
i) SRHR and Covid-19
ii) Mental health and covid-19
iii) Meaningful youth participation in ensuring a safe space free from SRHR challenges and covid-19.