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Juba, South Sudan – The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MOGEI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for The Right to Health for the Education Sector Campaign with South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission (SSAC) and UNAIDS.

The signatories were Dr. Riak Gai, the Minister of Health; Dr. Nadia Dudi, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and who signed on behalf of the education Minister Mr. Deng Deng; Dr. Esterina Novello, Chairperson of SSAC; and Mr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS. The United Nations Representative, Mr. Alain Noudehou and the UNESCO Representative to South Sudan, Mr. Sardar Umar Alam were among those that participated in the event.

The purpose of the MOU is to enhance cooperation between the two ministries, SSAC and the Joint UN Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) to collaboratively develop and implement a strategy in line with the UNAIDS Fast Track Strategy, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Sexual Reproductive Health, including tuberculosis, malaria and hepatitis in the education sector.

The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mr. Michel Sidibe is in the country to meet with the political leadership to advocate for resources and support for the HIV response in the current humanitarian situation in South Sudan. Mr. Sidibe noted that the education sector is critical in the HIV response as it provides access to information on prevention, treatment and reduction on the impact of the disease.

He further recommended to reduce stigma and discrimination which deters people seeking and utilising HIV services.

According MOH, only 32% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the country know their HIV status while only 14% of them are on treatment. These rates are extremely low as per the UNAIDS treatment for all strategy which targets 90%.

According to UNAIDS 2016 estimates, 40% of the 16,000 annual HIV infection were among young people aged 15-24 years. Close to 60% of the new infections are among females and also have higher records of deaths compared to males. However, while AIDS-related deaths declined by 1% between 2010 and 2016 among girls and women, there was an increment by 12% among boys and men. About 70% of PLHIV on treatment are women.

The MOU is anchored on the ESA Ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Sexual Reproductive Health for adolescents and young people which was endorsed 8 December 2013 by 20 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa including South Sudan.

Since 2013, education managers have collaborated with partners to integrate CSE into the national curriculum, developed learners’ and teachers’ materials, sensitised community on CSE through media and supported the training of over 500 in-service teachers.

Meanwhile the MOH, is currently reviewing the Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Strategy with partners to ensure that critical areas are integrated into community programmes such as the Boma Health Initiative. The Boma Health Initiative provides for sustainable delivery of essential health care and public health programmes at the community level.

UNESCO is one of the key stakeholders in delivering CSE in the country.  This ground-breaking event demonstrates national commitment by the two ministries and partners as well as a promising coordinated response to step up efforts to realise the 2020 targets stipulated in the aforementioned ESA Ministerial Commitment.

The targets include increasing access to CSE and SRH services. It proposes to eliminate gender-based violence, child marriage and all new HIV infections amongst adolescents and young people. It also stipulates commitment to reduce teenage pregnancies by 75% as well as increase comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention among young people.

[:en]

Panelists during an episode on Wanasa Dukuri

The media remains central in informing, educating and entertaining communities. In South Sudan, UNESCO and Smile Again Africa Development Organization (SAADO) are co-sponsoring a radio talk show on Comprehensive Sexuality Education titled Wanasa Dukuri aired every Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m. on Eye Radio station.

Wanasa Dukuri, meaning Straight Talk in Arabic, intends to create a platform to discuss challenges faced by young people which include peer pressure, early sexual debut, gender based violence, adolescent pregnancies, early marriage, HIV among other health related topics.

The programme which targets policy makers, teachers, young people parents and guardians calls for the provision of information and services for young people in a bid to have a well-informed youth populace that can realize positive health and education outcomes in South Sudan.

Wanasa Dukuri aims to reach out to over 1 million listeners with scientifically accurate, age and culturally appropriate information.[:]

[:en]Written and photos taken by Taban Robert Aggrey, journalists in Juba, South Sudan

‘Stigmatization is one of the leading factors discouraging young people from attending youth friendly health facilities’ said Dr. Victoria Achut, Director for the HIV Department, Ministry of Health South Sudan in her opening address during a journalist training workshop earlier this month.

Journalists in South Sudan will be utilizing their critical role in the community to break down detrimental barriers caused by stigma. A three-day training workshop, conducted by UNESCO, was hosted last week, 5-7 October 2015, in efforts to build greater knowledge among journalists on sexuality education. The training is the first of its kind, targeting broadcast media and radio personnel to develop scripts that will disseminate critical information to young people, parents, and communities across the country of South Sudan.

Stigma and discrimination hinder many young people from accessing crucial sexual and reproductive health care that they need. This includes receiving HIV testing and treatment, contraceptives and pregnancy care. Although the need to defuse stigma and discrimination is widely accepted across South Sudan and Eastern and Southern Africa, it is still prevalent in many communities.

Journalists in the workshop

Journalists in the workshop

Topics that will air on radio and broadcasting stations include healthy relationships, puberty and body reproduction, sexuality, gender and human rights, STIs and HIV/AIDS prevention, pregnancy and contraception, among others. There will also be further information linking young people to youth friendly centers that help them better access health supports and services they need.

“The Ministry of Health and South Sudan AIDs Commission are committed to addressing the issues of sexuality and HIV prevention especially among young people in and out of schools,” said Dr. Victoria.

She revealed that countries like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe have succeeded in establishing youth friendly centers – South Sudan will need to follow suit.

Dr. Victoria applauds the efforts of UNESCO and other development partners for trying hard to address the issues of stigma, ensuring every young person may practice their basic human right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Habib Dafalla, the Director General of Programme Coordination, South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC), said getting the media trained is one crucial way of helping to “crack down” on HIV prevalence in South Sudan. He further emphasized that journalists have an important role to play in sharing life-saving knowledge and skills to young people across the country.

Wishing the journalists good luck in their places of work. He urged to use the knowledge and skills they learned to have impactful coverage across the whole of South Sudan.[:pt]Written and photos taken by: Taban Robert Aggrey, journalists in Juba, South Sudan

‘Stigmatization is one of the leading factors discouraging young people from attending youth friendly health facilities’ said Dr. Victoria Achut, Director for the HIV Department, Ministry of Health South Sudan in her opening address during a journalist training workshop earlier this month.

Journalists in South Sudan will be utilising their critical role in the community to break down detrimental barriers caused by stigma. A three-day training workshop, conducted by UNESCO, was hosted last week, 5-7 October 2015, in efforts to build greater knowledge among journalists on sexuality education. The training is the first of its kind, targeting broadcast media and radio personnel to develop scripts that will disseminate critical information to young people, parents and communities across the country of South Sudan.

Stigma and discrimination hinders many young people from accessing crucial sexual and reproductive health care that they need. This includes receiving HIV testing and treatment, contraceptives and pregnancy care. Although the need to defuse stigma and discrimination is widely accepted across South Sudan and Eastern and Southern Africa, it is still prevalent across many communities.

Journalists in the workshop

Journalists in the workshop

Topics that will air on radio and broadcasting stations include healthy relationships, puberty and body reproduction, sexuality, gender and human rights, STIs and HIV/AIDS prevention, pregnancy and contraception, among others. There will also be further information linking young people to youth friendly centres that help them better access health supports and services they need.

“The Ministry of Health and South Sudan AIDs Commission are committed in addressing the issues of sexuality and HIV prevention especially among young people in and out of schools,” said Dr. Victoria.

She revealed that countries like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe have succeeded in establishing youth friendly centres – South Sudan will need to follow suit.

Dr. Victoria applauds the efforts of UNESCO and other development partners for trying hard to address the issues of stigma, ensuring every young person may practice their basic human right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Habib Dafalla, the Director General of Programme Coordination, South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC), said getting the media trained is one crucial way of helping to “crack down” on HIV prevalence in South Sudan. He further emphasized that journalists have an important role to play in sharing life-saving knowledge and skills to young people across the country.

Wishing the journalists good luck in their places of work. He urged to use the knowledge and skills they learned to have impactful coverage across the whole of South Sudan.[:fr]Written and photos taken by: Taban Robert Aggrey, journalists in Juba, South Sudan

‘Stigmatization is one of the leading factors discouraging young people from attending youth friendly health facilities’ said Dr. Victoria Achut, Director for the HIV Department, Ministry of Health South Sudan in her opening address during a journalist training workshop earlier this month.

Journalists in South Sudan will be utilising their critical role in the community to break down detrimental barriers caused by stigma. A three-day training workshop, conducted by UNESCO, was hosted last week, 5-7 October 2015, in efforts to build greater knowledge among journalists on sexuality education. The training is the first of its kind, targeting broadcast media and radio personnel to develop scripts that will disseminate critical information to young people, parents and communities across the country of South Sudan.

Stigma and discrimination hinders many young people from accessing crucial sexual and reproductive health care that they need. This includes receiving HIV testing and treatment, contraceptives and pregnancy care. Although the need to defuse stigma and discrimination is widely accepted across South Sudan and Eastern and Southern Africa, it is still prevalent across many communities.

Journalists in the workshop

Journalists in the workshop

Topics that will air on radio and broadcasting stations include healthy relationships, puberty and body reproduction, sexuality, gender and human rights, STIs and HIV/AIDS prevention, pregnancy and contraception, among others. There will also be further information linking young people to youth friendly centres that help them better access health supports and services they need.

“The Ministry of Health and South Sudan AIDs Commission are committed in addressing the issues of sexuality and HIV prevention especially among young people in and out of schools,” said Dr. Victoria.

She revealed that countries like Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe have succeeded in establishing youth friendly centres – South Sudan will need to follow suit.

Dr. Victoria applauds the efforts of UNESCO and other development partners for trying hard to address the issues of stigma, ensuring every young person may practice their basic human right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Habib Dafalla, the Director General of Programme Coordination, South Sudan AIDS Commission (SSAC), said getting the media trained is one crucial way of helping to “crack down” on HIV prevalence in South Sudan. He further emphasized that journalists have an important role to play in sharing life-saving knowledge and skills to young people across the country.

Wishing the journalists good luck in their places of work. He urged to use the knowledge and skills they learned to have impactful coverage across the whole of South Sudan.[:]

[:en]Today marks World AIDS Day. Every year, December 1st is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.

According to UNICEF there were 2.1 million adolescents (10–19 years) living with HIV in 2013, 80% of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa, and many of whom still do not know their HIV status.

We believe  that young people deserve adequate information and health services to prevent the spread of HIV. Take a stand today and help us spread the word![:pt]Hoje é marcado o Dia Mundial da SIDA. Todos os anos, o dia 1 de dezembro é dedicado a sensibilizar as pessoas para a pandemia da SIDA causada pela propagação da infeção do VIH.

Segundo a UNICEF havia 2.5 milhões de adolescentes (10-19 anos) a viver com o VIH em 2013, 80% dos quais vivem na África subsaariana, e muitos dos quais ainda não sabem do seu estatuto de portadores de VIH.

Acreditamos que os jovens merecem informações e serviços de saúde adequados para prevenir a propagação do VIH. Manifeste-se hoje e ajude-nos a espalhar a mensagem![:fr]Aujourd’hui est un jour marqué par la Journée Mondiale du Sida. Chaque année, le 1er Décembre est consacré à la sensibilisation à la pandémie du sida causée par la propagation de l’infection au VIH.

Selon l’UNICEF, il y avait 2,1 millions d’adolescents (10-19 ans) atteints du VIH en 2013, dont 80% vivant en Afrique sub-saharienne, et beaucoup d’entre eux ne connaissent toujours pas leur statut de séropositif.

Nous croyons que les jeunes méritent des services adéquats d’information et de santé pour prévenir la propagation du VIH. Prenez position aujourd’hui et aidez- nous à faire passer le message.[:]

[:en]Every girl has the right to complete a quality education – however, the realities are that many do not make it through to their graduation. Teenage pregnancy is a significant cause to increased school dropout, with persistently high rates across Eastern and Southern Africa exceeding two times the global average.

A consultation held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 4-5 November 2014, discusses the key role education plays in eliminating high numbers of unintended teenage pregnancy. The event brings together representatives from Ministries of Education, Ministries of Health, UN and bilateral partners, civil society organizations and research partners from across Eastern and Southern Africa.

In addition to the increased health risks, young girls who become pregnant face difficult choices with life-long consequences. It could mean expulsion from home and school; being shamed and stigmatized by family, community members and peers; increased vulnerability to violence and abuse, or greater poverty and economic hardship.

In order to combat early and unintended pregnancy, strengthening the education sector – at all levels – is crucial. Not only does education help in preventing early and unintended pregnancy but also to ensure all women and girls receive full access to the education they deserve.

Jointly organized by UNESCO, UNFPA, Ford Foundation and Population Council (Kenya), one of the major outcomes of the consultation has been the development of a regional report on the education sector’s response for eliminating early and unintended pregnancy across Eastern and Southern Africa.[:pt]Todas as raparigas têm o direito de completar uma educação de qualidade – porém, a realidade é que muitas não chegam a se formar. A gravidez de adolescentes é uma causa significativa do aumento do abandono escolar, com taxas altas persistentes em toda África Oriental e Austral excedendo duas vezes a media global.

Uma consulta realizada em Joanesburgo, África do Sul de 4-5 de novembro de 2014, discute o papel importante que a educação desempenha em eliminar os altos números de gravidezes não intencionadas de adolescentes. O evento junta representantes dos Ministérios da Educação e da Saúde, da UN e dos parceiros bilaterais, das organizações de sociedades civis e parceiros de pesquisa de toda a África Oriental e Austral.

Para além do aumento dos riscos de saúde, raparigas jovens que ficam grávidas enfrentam escolhas difíceis com consequências para o resto da vida. Pode significar serem expulsas de casa e da escola; serem envergonhadas e estigmatizadas pela família, membros da comunidade e colegas; aumento da vulnerabilidade à violência e ao abuso, ou pobreza maior e dificuldades económicas.

Para combater a gravidez precoce e não intencionada, reforçar o setor da educação – a todos os níveis – é fundamental. A educação não só ajuda a prevenir a gravidez precoce e não intencionada mas também ajuda a assegurar que todas as mulheres e raparigas recebam acesso completo à educação que merecem.

Conjuntamente organizada pela UNESCO, UNFPA, Ford Foundation e Population Council (Quénia), um dos maiores resultados da consulta foi o desenvolvimento de um relatório regional sobre as repostas do setor da educação para eliminar a gravidez não intencionada por toda a África Oriental e Austral.[:fr]Chaque fille a le droit de compléter une éducation de qualité. Cependant, la réalité est que beaucoup n’arrivent pas jusqu’à la fin de leur études. La grossesse des adolescentes est une cause importante de l’augmentation de l’abandon scolaire, avec la persistance de taux élevés dans toute l’Afrique Orientale et Australe, dépassant deux fois la moyenne mondiale.

Une consultation a eu lieu à Johannesburg, en Afrique du Sud les 4 et 5 Novembre 2014, afin d’examiner le rôle clé que joue l’éducation dans l’élimination du nombre élevé de grossesses non-désirées chez les adolescentes. L’événement a réuni des représentants des ministères de l’Éducation, des ministères de la Santé, de l’ONU et des partenaires bilatéraux, des organisations de la société civile et des partenaires de recherche de toute l’Afrique Orientale et Australe.

En plus des risques accrus pour la santé, les jeunes filles qui deviennent enceintes doivent faire des choix difficiles qui entraînent des conséquences tout au long de leur vie. Cela peut entrainer l’expulsion de leur maison et l’école; l’humiliation et la stigmatisation par la famille, les membres de la communauté et les pairs; l’augmentation de la vulnérabilité à la violence et aux abus, ou une plus grande pauvreté et des difficultés économiques.

Afin de lutter contre les grossesses précoces et non désirées, le renforcement du secteur de l’éducation – à tous les niveaux – est crucial. Non seulement l’éducation aide dans la prévention des grossesses précoces et non-désirées, mais aussi elle assure que toutes les femmes et les filles bénéficient d’un accès à l’éducation complète qu’elles méritent.

Organisée conjointement par l’UNESCO, le FNUAP, la Fondation Ford et le Conseil de la Population (Kenya),  la Consultation a eu, comme un des principaux résultats, l’élaboration d’un rapport régional sur la réponse du secteur de l’éducation pour l’élimination précoce des grossesses non désirées à travers l’Afrique orientale et australe.[:]

Every two years, the Ministry of Culture organizes the National Cultural Festival in the province of Inhambane in Mozambique. The festival hosts domestic and international artists, cultural agents, and practitioners for a weeklong celebration of diversity. This year, the festival took place from the 13th to 20th of August and included HIV/AIDS awareness workshops that were jointly organized by UNESCO and UNFPA and led by Associação Coalizão da Juventude Moçambicana.

By focusing on scaling up Comprehensive Sexuality Education and capacity building in Eastern and Southern Africa, the workshops provided participants access to high quality sexuality education, increasing their knowledge on sexual and reproductive health and rights. About 50 young people attended each workshop, which were led by Associação Coalizão da Juventude Moçambicana, an NPO that works in the area of Sexual and Reproductive Health for adolescents and youth, and whose focus is primarily on young girls, HIV/AIDS and gender issues.

“The workshops raised awareness on various issues of Sexual and Reproductive Health and on emerging issues related to HIV and AIDS prevention. Sessions were interactive and encouraged participants to make confident and educated decisions about their sexual health. Young people learned and practiced how to use both male and female condoms and were able to speak freely and contribute to discussions,” said Angelina Tivane with UNESCO.

“The Festival provided an opportunity to host these important workshops on Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The sessions highlighted important issues that directly effect young people in Mozambique, issues such as sexuality and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS prevention.”

The National Cultural Festival showcases the contemporary and ethnic heritage of Mozambique, as well as the commitment of the State to cultural diversity and to programmes, such as Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Going forward, a level of collaboration and innovation with other sectors, such as industry, commerce and finance, will further solidify the country’s commitment to the economy of cultural production, but also national development.