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Govt develops advocacy messages to improve sexual reproductive health

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The Ministry of Health is developing advocacy messages targeting the youth with the aim of improving their access to sexual and reproductive health services.

The ministry’s senior programs officer in the division of reproductive and maternal health, Martin Mburu, is currently pre-testing key messages addressing sexual reproductive health, including Gender-Based Violence, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country.

“We are currently pre-testing the key messages that seek to address key issues of sexual reproductive health including gender based violence, HIV and AIDS together with maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country,” he said.

Mburu said that the ministry initiated the development of the messages early last year and is currently pre-testing them in Siaya, Mombasa, Garissa, and Nairobi counties before nationwide rollout.

During a stakeholders’ forum at a hotel in Siaya town, Martin Mburu stated that the messages aim at young people, who suffer the most from adverse reproductive health outcomes.

“The messages target the young people who bear the biggest brunt of the adverse health outcomes when it comes to issues of reproductive health,” he added.

Consequently during the forum, Gladys Kio, Executive Director of African Gender and Media Initiative Trust, highlighted the need for enhanced communication.

She observed that despite the presence of proper services and healthcare personnel in the country, reproductive health outcomes continued to be negative.

“We saw the need of enhancing communication after realizing that the reproductive health outcomes were still negative despite availability of proper services and healthcare personnel in the country,” she said.

According to Ms. Lorna Nyandat, Executive Director of Nyimine Empowerment CBO (NYECBO), she noted during the forum that the health-seeking behavior of young women, particularly in Siaya County, has been inadequate. She emphasized that addressing such issues is a priority for their organization.

Pamela Josephine, Siaya County’s Reproductive Health Coordinator, stated that the primary aim of the messages is to motivate young people to seek and utilize reproductive health services nationwide.

“The main objective of the messages is to encourage the young people to come out and access the reproductive health services across the country,” she concluded.

Timothy Kanyi
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