URUKUNDO Initiative’s approach to deliver friendly and evidence based ASRHR information to curb teenage pregnancies

Worldwide, an estimated 16 million women aged 15 to 19 give birth each year. 95% of these births occur in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Adolescent pregnancy has negative effects at the individual, community, and societal level, especially in LMICs. Teenage birth increases the socioeconomic burden faced by struggling societies and can have detrimental health impacts on affected women and their families. Every year, an estimated 21 million girls aged 15–19 years in developing regions become pregnant and approximately 12 million of them give birth. At least 777,000 births occur to adolescent girls younger than 15 years in developing countries.

The issue of adolescent fertility is important on both health and social grounds. Children born to very young mothers are at increased risk of sickness and death. Teenage mothers are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes and are more constrained in their ability to pursue educational opportunities than young women who delay childbearing.

According to Rwanda DHS 2019-2020 percent distribution of women age 15-19 who have given birth or were pregnant with their first child at the time of the survey, according to background characteristics, Overall, 5% of women age 15-19 have begun childbearing: 4% have had a live birth, and 1% were pregnant at the time of the interview. The proportion of teenagers who have begun childbearing rises rapidly with age, from less than 1% at age 15 to 15% at age 19. Teenagers with no education and those in the lowest wealth quantile tend to start childbearing earlier than other teenagers. Teenagers in East province are more likely to start childbearing earlier than their counterparts.

Young people’s need for ASRH (Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health) education is evidenced by their typically early initiation of sexual activity, the often involuntary context within which they have sexual intercourse, high‐risky sexual behaviours and the inadequate levels of knowledge of means of protecting their sexual health. Such measures of behaviour and knowledge can also be relevant and valid indicators of the effectiveness of ASRH education interventions.

To improve the well-being of the population living in the community, we need to take into account sexual and reproductive health well-being of individuals living in our communities. That’s why as medical students studying at the University of Rwanda, we came up with the Urukundo Board Game and information package to provide a better and friendly way to solve many Sexual and Reproductive Health issues among the Youth of the Rwandan community and Africa at large

URUKUNDO Board Game and Information package provided by URUKUNDO Initiative is a fast growing board and cards based game whose aim is to avail friendly, safe, trustful and evidence based information for young people in the African community. We emphasize on the role of Parent-Adolescent communication in a friendly environment and youth discussion on ASRH throughout extracurricular ways like games, role-plays and group activities as UNFPA recommends. This platform is intended to improve SRH status quo and to provide evidence-based information on Sexual and Reproductive Health in a way that young people learn from each other’s experiences, talk about their own problems in a safe environment, interact more on ASRH with their parents, guardians and educators and get unforgettable evidence-based information prerequisite for prevention of HIV, unwanted pregnancies and other risky sexual behaviours.

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