Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services
Sustainable Development Goal 3, “Ensure healthy lives and
promote well-being for all at all ages” is our thematic focus this
month. We are calling on all members to take action in your community to
tackle health-related issues.
By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
Since 1986, in Burundi, the operational budget for control of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS is almost all financed by foreign aid. However, there have been large amounts of administrative delays and inadequate human resources to distribute the allocated budget. In 1992, the number of new cases of AIDS was 4000 for adults and 1500 for children. Estimated numbers for 1997 are 9000 and 3700, respectively. The estimated 1992 HIV prevalence rate was 15% for urban and semi-urban areas and 1-2% for rural areas. There are likely more HIV/AIDS cases that are reported. HIV prevalence is much higher in women than in men. Some uneducated youth think that condoms contain HIV so they do not consider condoms to be effective. Most students think primary schools must convey abstinence as the HIV prevention message. In Bujumbura, most parents would favour condom distribution to youth and to their own children. The number of condoms on the market and interventions targeted to adolescents have been rather limited
As a result, members of World Merit Burundi contacted the headmaster of the local Lycee School. They explained that they wanted to speak to the pupils to promote sexual health in a safe learning environment. The headmaster was very impressed and agreed that this was an issue that needed raising.
Due to all of the above information members of World Merit Burundi organised an event focusing on SG3 (Good health and wellbeing) in the capital, Bujumbura. The event began with an introduction to the UNSDGs and highlighted the work World Merit Burundi was involved in. Young people attending the interactive sessions were educated about the importance of sexual and reproductive health as well as given sound medical information and dispelling myths and dangerous practices.
As a result of this action, 1071 young people were educated on a vital health issue which they, in turn, could go and inform others about. Many of the pupils (65%) also state that they wanted to become a World Merit member. As such the team continues to grow and more activities can be planned.