"“Reproductive freedom is critical to a whole range of issues. If we can’t take charge of this most personal aspect of our lives, we can’t take care of anything. It should not be seen as a privilege or as a benefit, but a fundamental human right.”"Faye Wattleton
With over 78% of its population under the age of 30, Uganda is the world’s second-youngest population. This is according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) factsheets. Many of these young people are at risk or are already struggling with the consequences of unplanned pregnancies or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV/AIDS and unsafe abortion.
Young people, therefore ought to be at the centre of reproductive health education as they are often victims with far-reaching implications of not being informed about sexual reproductive rights and concerns.
Proper sexual and reproductive health is a state of complete mental, physical and social well-being regarding matters of the reproductive system. Good reproductive health enables young people to have a satisfying and reproductively healthy life, with the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide on if, when, and how often to do so.
Every individual has the right to make their own choices about their sexual and reproductive health. UNFPA, together with a wide range of partners including Reach A Hand Uganda, works towards achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning.
There are direct medical benefits of preventing unintended pregnancies, improving maternal health, diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. These include prevention of high-risk pregnancies, unsafe abortion and its complications, obstetric complications, cancers of the reproductive system and deaths to AIDS.
To maintain one’s sexual and reproductive health, there is a need to access accurate information and the safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception method of their choice. They must be informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections.
Individuals and health systems can take a number of actions to safeguard reproductive health. These actions vary from many other health interventions in that the motivation for their use is not necessarily limited to better health and involves cultural and societal norms. Irrespective of these additional considerations, these interventions have important health implications.
While dealing with reproductive health as young adults, key components have to be explained. These include family planning, sexual engagement for adolescent in line with reproductive health and sensitisation unsafe abortion.
The need to use contraceptives carefully and effectively is important to maintain good reproductive health. A wide variety of contraceptive methods are available to women and men.