"How do midwifery students from the University of Rwanda contribute in the prevention of adolescent pregnancies for in-school children in Rwanda?"
Aimable Nkurunziza, RN, BScN, MScN, MPH, PhD(c) Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda.
Olive Tengera, RM,BNE,MSN(M&WH), Lecturer at the University of Rwanda.
Jean Bosco Henri Hitayzeu, RM, BScM, MSN (Neonatal), Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda.
Justine Bagirasono, RM, BScM, MSN, Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda
To prevent adolescent pregnancies in high schools, the Rwandan government has strongly invested in sexual and reproductive health (SRH), mainly various school-based programs, such as further developing Biology and Health Sciences classes from senior three to six classes. In addition, the Rwanda Medical Center supervises an SRH teaching program for in and out-school adolescents, which Imbuto Foundation and UNFPA support. To date, these programs seem to be less effective than expected. School-based programs still face the problem of discomfort and taboo with SRH in the context of teachers and students. Consequently, adolescents seek information on SRH from their peers, but this poses a first problem with the reliability of the exchanged information, as research has shown that peers are often not correctly informed on SRH topics. Second, peers are not always fully accessible to all adolescents, so some needs remain unmet. Thus, to respond to these adolescents’ unique needs, the sexual and reproductive health peer education program (SRH PEP) was developed and implemented in collaboration with the staff from the University of Rwanda (UR) and the University Colleges Leuven-Limburg (UCLL)-Belgium funded by Vliruos. In this talk, we will share our experiences in developing and implementing SRHPE in high schools in Rwanda to prevent teenage pregnancies.