• March 30th, 2020

Men critical partners in reproductive health

Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (Nappa) community outreach coordinator Risto Mushongo believes sexual reproductive health (SRH) cannot be effectively addressed if men are not included. 
Mushongo said SRH not only affects women, but men too. 

According to Mushongo, SRH involves talking about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), family planning, HIV testing, counselling, and engaging in safer sex. 

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. 

Statistics provided by UNFPA as at March 2018 indicate that only 14% of male between the ages of 15 to 19 were ever tested for HIV and received their results compared to 29% female. The statistics also indicate 56% of female adolescents aged 15-19 have comprehensive knowledge of HIV compared to 51% of male adolescents under the same age category. 

“You cannot address sexual reproductive health and leave men aside, that is why men are not coming forth because SRH is portrayed as a women issue,” said Mushongo during a press conference where they partnered with School of Destiny Associate (SODA) Consultancy who planned a hiking event over the weekend as a means of reaching out to men to speak out and engage them on issues affecting them. 

“This is happening is silo because people think (SRH) is a women issue, but now we have seen as Nappa, this is critical and we want to be part of events engaging men so that we reach out to men, so that we are able to tell them SRH is not a women issue only, because when we are talking about family planning, it is not a woman who decides how many children to have - it is two people, a woman and a man. Now if the men are absent what will happen?” questioned Mushongo.  

Nappa Clinical Service Manager Fransina Rijatua added that men are absent in SRH issues but also when it comes to HIV and counselling services. 

“Men are not turning up,” she said. In addition, 3000MenAndBoysEvents_2020 coordinator Dawid #Eigub stated men don’t want to talk about their problems because there is a perception that they need to be strong but no one really reaches out to them psychologically.

Selma Ikela
2020-02-17 07:00:19 | 1 months ago

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