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Stakeholders trained on sexual reproductive health

By William Madouk Garang

A local organization is known as Reproductive Health Association South Sudan (RHASS)has held advocacy training to improve sexual and reproductive health, family planning, and campaign against child marriage and gender-based violence.

The aim of a two-day advocacy meeting is to sensitize participants on how to improve sexual reproductive health, and family planning, and to fight negative norms in their culture by taking the right decision.

Sexual and reproductive health suggests that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.

Project manager, Dr. Abraham Thubosaid’s majority recommended the criminalizationof early child or forced marriage including regulation of the surging prostitution phenomenon, he also adds that women are in misery because parliament has not yet passed some laws.

“There is a growing market of prostitution in the city and that is really exploiting our young people and young women. So, there is a call from people to regulate this so that women are not sexually exploited,” he said.

“We don’t have family law and anti-GBV law, there are laws that are not being passed yet and women are suffering like if somebody beats his wife today, the wife cannot open a case against the husband and nobody can say anything, so those are the things we are advocating for changes in our law and policies,” he added.

Chairperson of RHASS, Paul YoaneBonjucited that due to the high illiteracy rate there is a need to train the public on reproductive health, GBV, and early marriage to avoid undesirable maternity death.

“We need to push the agenda of reproductive health to avoid our women, girls from this unnecessary death that is controllable,” Bonju emphasized.

He called on citizens who are seeking Family Planning (FP), Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to visit their clinic located at Juba next to the mosque or healthcare center near St. Parish opposite ECSS church.

Julia Philip, one of the beneficiaries, urged the association to double their effort and reach others across the country, adding that training has equipped her with knowledge and transformed her behavior and how to fight negative cultural norms.

“I want to promise that, the moment I step out of this hall to my area, I will definitely go and preach this thing to my community members because where I reside and work, they [people there] need this knowledge,” she promised.

World Health Organization Data shows that maternal mortality rates stand at 789 per 100,000 live births, while less than 44% of the population has no access to health care services with 80% of births happening at home.

In South Sudan, family planning is not widely recognized or practiced, Ministry of Health report 2018, said the percentage of married women with an unmet need for a modern method of contraception is 31% and those who take contraception is low as 96% of women.

The two-day high-level advocacy workshop was organized by RHASS with funding from United Nation Population Fund(UNFPA), and drew together youth, women, traditional leaders, MPs, and organized forces among others.

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