ArtGlo moves to promote SRHR in youths

Art and Global Health Center Africa (ArtGlo) says it is on the move to promote Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) among the youth in the country in order for them to prevent Sexual Reductive Health (SRH) issues such as, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.

Speaking on the sidelines of the showcase event for the program dubbed ‘Make Art for Sustainable Action (MASA)’ which was held in Lilongwe on Thursday, ArtGlo Executive Director, Helen Todd said that her organization is concerned with the challenges which youth in the country are facing in as far as SRHR is concerned.

“As an organization, we are concerned that young people in Malawi are facing many Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR) challenges, Malawian teenage pregnancy is on the rise and around 25 percent of 15-19 year old women and girls have given birth.

“In addition to that, the prevalence rate of HIV in Malawi is nearly 10 percent and in 2016 one-third of all new HIV infections occurred among the youth of 15-24 age bracket and 70 percent of them were among young women,” Todd said.

Todd: Young people in Malawi are facing many ASRHR challenges-pic by Moses Nyirenda

She also said that, the access to SRH services among the youth also remains the challenge hence ArtGlo is looking forward to bring interventions that would help to address the challenge.

“Condom use remains low due to barriers youth face in accessing contraceptives and health services, young women have difficulties in asking their partners to use condoms for fear of being labeled ‘prostitutes’.

“Sadly, only 12.6 percent of youth have ever used Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS), for this reason as ArtGlo we are keen to promote SRHR among the youth by breaking the barriers that hinders youth to access SRH services,” she said.

According to the Executive Director, ArtGlo is currently using arts such as, participatory film, theatre and traditional dances aimed at raising messages concerning access to SRH services among the youth.

She also said that, her organization is working with Youth Focused Organization (YFO) in the country to design and implement innovative projects to tackle ASRHR challenges in their communities and collectively advocate for change at district and 1 levels.

In his remarks, Minister of Civic Education and 1 Unity, Timothy Mtambo hailed ArtGlo for its approach in using art to educate the youth on issues concerning SRH.

“Art is an instrument that facilitates change, when we use art it helps to take people into the scene and they do experience the situation and apart from that, art is engaging and people get entertained while they are getting the message.

Mtambo: Art is an instrument that facilitates change-pic by Moses Nyirenda

“Therefore I am commending ArtGlo for their approach in using art to educate the youth on issues of SRH this will help to fully impart knowledge regarding SRHR among the youth and SRH problems such as STIs and unplanned pregnancies would be reduced amongst the youth in the country,” Mtambo said.