HIV and Aids have emerged as the leading killers among adolescents, accounting for 50% of deaths, according to statistics released by sexual and reproductive health rights organisation, Advocacy Core Team.
The organisation recently petitioned Parliament to consider amendments to the relevant pieces of legislation to ensure all young people could access reproductive health services.
It argued that lack of comprehensive information and knowledge about reproductive healthcare services (RHS) among adolescents increased spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections and lead to unplanned parenthood and illegal abortions.
In a report jointly presented to Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and Thematic Committee on HIV and Aids on Thursday, the Advocacy Core Team said it did not seek to adjust the age of consent to sexual behaviour or the minimum age of marriage, but to promote cognisance of RHS among young people.
“It is our prayer that the Public Health Act of 2018 is amended to provide that there should be no age restrictions on accessing reproductive health care services by persons aged 12 years and above, and these services include: HIV testing, preand post counselling, access to contraceptives and other pregnancy prevention management services for adolescents and young people; and to ensure that there are proper administrative measures to monitor and provide reproductive health rights for persons aged 12 years and above, ” the petition read.