CIBITOKE August 2nd (ABP) – The Burundian Association for the Fight against AIDS (ABS), organized last Thursday, July 29, 2021, at the headquarters of Cibitoke province (north-west of Burundi) a conference-debate to exchange on Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH), for administrative, school and health officials.
Those exchanges revolved around interventions in the field of AYSRH, before the formulation of participants’ commitments according to internal working methods.
In the school province of Cibitoke, the adviser to the Provincial Directorate of Education (DPE), Innocent Bigirimana, affirmed that unwanted pregnancies remain a reality in schools, except that this year there has been a slight decrease compared to the data of the year 2016. During the meeting, many challenges were deplored especially pharmacies that help adolescents and young people in voluntary abortions.
Participants also denounced the Judicial Police Officers and certain agents of the justice, who accept to be corrupted to facilitate amicable arrangements. Some administrative officials are also fingered to help minors cheat the age to allow early marriages linked to unwanted pregnancies.
In addition, the participants deplored that there is no more dialogue between parents and children. There are parents who still take it as a taboo to talk about sexual and reproductive health to their children. As a result, adolescents and young people learn those notions somehow, and ill-intentioned people take the opportunity to manipulate them as they want with the risk of impregnating adolescent girls.
Faced with all these challenges, the participants agreed that the involvement of all the forces that must work in synergy to overcome all the challenges is necessary. Thus, awareness-raising on the AYSRH should be regularly organized.
During the holidays, young people are not with their school supervisors to discuss this subject, and they go less to youth-friendly health centers or other related services.
Thus, the participants recommended that parents supervise and dialogue with their children and that all those who are aware of the danger should contribute to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, which increase in rate during the holidays.