Friday, May 23, 2008

NGO's in Uganda

EAPI is a christian founded None Governemental Organisation that is one of its kind operating on a wider range in East Africa by reaching out to the most vulnerable groups; the elderly, women, people living with HIV/AIDS, the youth, drug adicts and the disabaled.

Imagine what happens to those in the deep in the out skirts of Bujumbura in Burundi

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sexual and Reproductive Health Education

Young children and adolescents learn about sexual matters and reproduction by observing adult behaviour, from peers and older siblings, increasingly from the media, and, in some families, from their parents. Such information, however, is typically limited, frequently erroneous and, in the case of the media, often unduly glamourized.
UNFPA has funded the development and inclusion of family life education (FLE) in school curricula in 79 countries over the past three decades, with technical assistance from UNESCO. In contrast to earlier curricula that focused on the population-development linkage, today’s curricula are more likely to add reproductive health and physiology, family planning information and training for responsible parenthood (including planning and decision- making skills), encouragement of sexual abstinence, STD/HIV prevention, and training in gender equality.
Thus, formal instruction is an important source of accurate information. Formalized curricula for sexuality education are much less common in developing countries than in developed ones, and they are typically not implemented on a national level. In many cases, the average period of school attendance is so short as to preclude this possibility. Even in countries with nearly universal secondary education, many of the most disadvantaged adolescents drop out of school prematurely. Thus, important as school-based programmes might be, they need to be supplemented by various community-based educational programmes.
There is often strong religious and political opposition to sexuality education out of fear that it will encourage sexual activity. Data indicate, however, that sexuality education does not encourage young people to engage in sex. Most studies show that education about reproductive and sexual health contributes to the postponement of sexual activity and to the use of contraception among teens who are sexually active.
Especially now, when adolescents are increasingly at risk of STDs and AIDS, it is crucial that governments, educators, parents and community leaders recognize these risks and the reality of premarital sexual activity among young people. It is imperative to work together to provide the sexuality education young people need to protect themselves. This includes, in addition to biological facts, information about dating, relation-ships, marriage and contraception. Programmes must help young people—boys and girls—recognize the merits of abstinence, develop the skills necessary to resist peer pressure and inappropriate sexual advances, and instil the confidence to negotiate the use of contraception with their partner.

Early Sexual Activity, Pregnancy and Curtailment of Education

While schooling clearly delays marriage, whether or not schooling delays sexual activity is much less clear. Most cultural norms say that girls should not be sexually active before marriage, but the fact is that, the world over, many are. The increase in school attendance in developing countries often intensifies contact between boys and girls, even where single-sex schools are the norm. These trends, together with the declining average age at menarche, mean that increasing numbers of girls are exposed to opportunity for sexual activity before marriage. Without access to sexuality education and contraceptive information and services, many girls become pregnant.
For many girls, becoming pregnant means the end of formal education. In many countries, pregnant girls are forced to drop out of school; in Kenya alone, an estimated 10,000 a year do so. Many others drop out to care for their newborns— and, if they marry, to meet the demands of their new husbands.

Education Delays Marriage, Improves Health and Lowers Fertility

In almost every setting—regardless of region, culture, or level of development—better-educated women are more likely:
To marry later, use contraception, bear fewer children and raise healthier children;
To make better decisions for themselves and their children;
To make greater economic contributions to the household.
One of the strongest statistical correlations in developing countries is between mothers’ education and infant mortality: the children of women with more years of schooling are much more likely to survive infancy. Better-educated women are also likely to have a greater say in decisions such as when and whom they marry and to use family planning to bear only the children they can provide for.

The Gender Gap

Around the world are many social, cultural and economic barriers to girls’ schooling, both for enrolling and staying in school. Among the barriers:
In many societies, parents see limited economic benefits to educating girls. Daughters attending school are less available to help with household chores and childcare for younger siblings. Cultural norms are that sons support parents in old age while girls marry out and leave their parents.
Poverty is a major hindrance. Schooling usually involves substantial sums for fees, books, uniforms and transportation. When family resources are limited, parents usually give higher priority to sons.
Decisions about schooling for girls are often influenced by social norms related to sexuality and marriage. In traditional societies where chastity is highly valued, parents may be reluctant to allow girls to travel to school, be taught by male teachers and have close contact with boys. Parents often expect girls will marry at an early age, not needing education.
Disparities between initial enrolment rates for girls and boys are much greater than differences in drop-out rates. This suggests that the major challenge is to get girls into school. Parents increasingly recognize the need for education to improve their children’s chances in life— but this understanding is slower to come in the case of girls. Increasingly many parents also under-stand that the family’s long-term economic needs will be best served by providing better health care and education for fewer children, rather than relying on larger numbers.
Parents who hope for better education for their female children tend to want smaller families, perhaps so that they can provide more fully for the offspring they have.

Reproductive Health and Education, The Mutual Relationship

The girl reaches age 5. Will she go to school like her brother? Or will she stay home to help her mother fetch water and take care of the new baby? If she starts school, will her father pull her out when they need additional labour in the field? Will her brother stay in school? When she becomes older, will she know how to resist the sexual advances of boys who find her attractive? What happens if she becomes pregnant? Will she be forced to leave school?
Around the world, education of boys is more highly valued than of girls. The benefit of education for girls is indisputable, but not all parents perceive this. There are tremendous gaps in both school enrolment and the length of time boys and girls stay in school. While nearly all boys begin primary school, only three out of four girls do so. In many developing countries, fewer than half of all children continue on to secondary school, and girls are far less likely than boys to do so. In Bangladesh, for instance, secondary enrolment is 25 per cent for boys but only 13 per cent for girls. This neglect has critical consequences for women’s empowerment as well as for their reproductive decisions.
The link between education and reproductive health is two-directional. Education of girls is closely related to improvements in family health and to falling fertility rates. In turn, girls born into smaller families are more likely to be sent to school and to complete more years of schooling.
Educating women benefits the whole of society. It has a more significant impact on poverty and development than men’s education. It is also the most influential factor in improving child health and reducing infant mortality.
The ICPD and FWCW affirmed everyone’s right to education and gave special attention to women and girls, recognizing that education is a cornerstone of women’s empowerment because it enables them to respond to opportunities, to challenge their traditional roles and to change their lives. Paragraph 4.2 of the ICPD Program-me of Action states, "Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process."
The two conferences also emphasized eradication of illiteracy as a prerequisite for human development. Globally, nearly 600 million women remain illiterate today, compared with about 320 million men.

Managing Stress

The Medical Basis of Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Sleep Problems, and Drug Use
Explained in Fun, Easy to Read, Format

Health education

Health education is defined as the principle by which individuals and groups of people learn to behave in a manner conducive to the promotion, maintenance, or restoration of health. The ultimate aim of Health Education is Positive Behavioural Modification
Education for health begins with people. It hopes to motivate them with whatever interests they may have in improving their living conditions. Its aim is to develop in them a sense of responsibility for health conditions for themselves as individuals, as members of families, and as communities. In communicable disease control, health education commonly includes an appraisal of what is known by a population about a disease, an assessment of habits and attitudes of the people as they relate to spread and frequency of the disease, and the presentation of specific means to remedy observed deficiencies. (Washington State Department of Health)
Health education is included in the curriculum of most schools. In the United States some forty states require the teaching of health education. A comprehensive health education curriculum consists of planned learning experiences which will help students achieve desirable attitudes and practices related to critical health issues. Some of these are: emotional health and a positive self image; appreciation, respect for, and care of the human body and its vital organs; physical fitness; health issues of alcohol, tobacco and drug use and abuse; health misconceptions and quackery; effects of exercise on the body systems and on general well being; nutrition and weight control; sexual relationships, the scientific, social and economic aspects of community and ecological health; communicable and degenerative diseases including sexually transmitted diseases; disaster preparedness; safety and driver education; choosing professional medical and health services; and choices of health careers.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

East Africa's population on a Tellific Speed

A UN report has predicted that many east African nations will see a population boom with the number of people dying of AIDS expected to fall steeply.If the estimations prove true, millions more people will be living in the area which could serve to aid the economy and drag many countries out of the poverty cycle.According to the UN research, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will all see a rise in population in the years to come, with the latter's predicted to treble by 2050.The study also said that Africans living in these countries are likely to survive for longer as treatments for diseases improve and become more accessible.This sudden population growth could also give a much needed boost to the economy of east Africa and could see it become one of the fastest developing places on earth.Despite this, the UN has raised concerns that the countries may not be prepared for the steep increase in residents, with the average standard of living unlikely to improve hugely on what it is today. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, has said in the past, however, that he is unconcerned about the possible population growth.He said at a conference last year: "I am not one of those worried about the population explosion." Mr Museveni added that he saw the estimated rise in the number of people in the country as "a great resource". Uganda, which achieved independence from the UK in 1962, already has around 25 million people living in the county.