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Saturday, July 22, 2017

66% of teenagers want to know how to use contraceptives — study

Parents protest against proposed sex education for schoolchildren outside the Ministry of Education offices in Jogoo House, Nairobi, on November 25 last year /JOSEPH NDUNDA
Parents protest against proposed sex education for schoolchildren outside the Ministry of Education offices in Jogoo House, Nairobi, on November 25 last year /JOSEPH NDUNDA

Sixty six per cent adolescents want to be shown how to use contraceptives, a new study shows.

The study which depicts the dire need to offer sex education to adolescents also shows sixty eight per cent want to know the different contraception methods that are available, while sixty two percent want to know where to get them.

“Adolescents between the ages of 15 and 17 years who were interviewed said they are not getting the information they need from their teachers and guardians,” Estelle Sidze, lead researcher at the African Population Research and Health Center said during release of the results.

“Studies have shown that this group is the most critical age period where adolescent need to have adequate information on sexual reproductive rights,” Estelle added.

The study dubbed from paper to practice: sexuality education policies and their implementation in Kenya ¬also shows that adolescents that fifty nine per cent of the moral talk given to them by their teachers emphasizes that sex is bad while fifty eight per cent states that sex is immoral.

Only thirty four per cent noted that their teachers told to protect themselves should they engage in the act.

However, fifty one per cent said that they have a right t know about relationships and sexual reproductive health rights.

“It has been proven by evidence that abstinence programs alone or fear induced messages do not work on adolescents. We do not to provide accurate information on this subject,” Estelle added.

Since most of the information made available to this group is fear induced, the study also found that only two per cent of the children in the secondary schools samples were exposed to a quality comprehensive sexuality education. 61 per cent of those interviewed reported to be having substandard information on sex education.

Information on comprehensive sexuality education should be based on five main topics; Sexual and Reproductive physiology, HIV and STI prevention, values and interpersonal skills, gender and sexual reproductive health rights and contraception and unintended pregnancies.

However, only two are being offered in schools i.e Sexual and Reproductive physiology and HIV and STI prevention.

“For us this is a bit problematic because studies that have been done around this topic shows that programs that are most effective are those who have a gender and SRH competent means that students in the country may not have access to comprehensive sexuality education,” Estelle said.

Some of the major challenges raised by teachers who were offering sex education in schools include; lack of adequate resources (53%), lack of time (46%), need to train teachers (38%) and 37 per cent of the teachers are too embarrassed to teach this subject.

A total 2,484 school going children between the ages of 15 and 17 years from Nairobi, Homabay and Mombasa counties were interviewed. The study was conducted by Guttmacher institute and the African Population Health and Research Center.

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