UNESCO Hosts Indaba On Early Sexual Debut

THE United Nations Education and Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is this week expected to hold an inception meeting in Lusaka aimed at strengthening comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programmes for adolescents in school.

According to a statement by UNESCO Director and Representative Luc Rukingama, research has indicated that young people have remained at a higher risk of early sexual debut, and the associated risks of unplanned pregnancies, sexual abuse , early marriages, and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) including HIV.

This is against a background that although significant progress efforts towards an HIV free generation, young people in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) have remained vulnerable to risks associated with HIV.

In order to address this, UNESCO is collaborating with the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA) for the purpose of strengthening the delivery of CSE targeted at young people aged between 10 and 24 years in Zambia.

This project has an implementation period of five years, and it runs between June 2013 and June 2018.

Some of the objectives of the project include the strengthening of quality, delivery and effectiveness of CSE curricula to ensure that they are evidence based, gender transformative and age and cultural appropriate.

It also seeks to ensure access to quality sexual reproductive health information and health services for approximately 3,120, 000 adolescents and young people aged between 10 and 24 years, including young people living with HIV and AIDS.

The inception meeting will take place in Lusaka between April 23 to April 25 is expected to draw the participation of government officials from the Ministries of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender and Child Development the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the Ministry of Chiefs and traditional Affairs.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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