iSanitize has embarked on an initiative to engage selected Members of Parliament and other stakeholders to share perspectives, find common ground and reach a consensus on policy solutions on Access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), Health and Sanitation for Adolescents and Youths.
This initiative is set to be embarked on within the course of September 2022.
iSanitize Communications Co-Ordinator and Brand-Line Africa Elina Phiri highlighted that the organisation would use various platforms to lobby for the enactment of impactful policies on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Health and Sanitation such as the review of the National Family Planning Guidelines and facilitating the formation of Family Planning Committees to spearhead family planning matters.
“We believe lawmakers play a crucial role in formulating policies that bring about development and positive change,” Ms Phiri stated
She noted that in Zambia Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights knowledge still remains inadequate and unevenly distributed, leading to considerable Sexual and Reproduction Health Rights related problems among adolescents.
Ms Phiri cited that iSanitize is also of the view that Family Planning should be part of an expanded definition and agenda for Sexual and Reproductive Health services, this is because the inability to abstain by most school learners in senior secondary school compromises and disadvantages the girl child’s ability to complete her education and navigate other aspects of life.
“We seek to strengthen collaboration across sectors so that we reduce disparities and contribute to improved physical, mental, and social well-being of adolescents and the youth,” she said
She added that iSanitize seeks to establish structured operations that will offer impactful community sensitization and engagement with adolescents and youths in the rural community and contribute to improved knowledge and information on the Comprehensive Sexuality Curriculum in Zambia.
“To this effect, we have deemed it important to work with Parliamentarians from different Constituencies to see how best we can promote health practices and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights,” she noted
Ms Phiri explained that iSanitize is currently running a project in two wards of Gweembe District in Southern Province aimed at increasing awareness on age-appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, and MHM, to promote Awareness and Access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Health and Sanitation for Adolescents and Youths.
“The Project is a five (5) months pilot award with technical assistance and funding from ActionAid Zambia through its SIDA-funded project,” she added
Ms Phiri stated that the Project aims at strengthening the capacity of citizens to demand improved policies and programs that promote inclusiveness and accessibility to comprehensive sexuality education in the Gweembe district by 30th September 2022.