WINDHOEK: Namibian First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba has appealed to all African leaders and businessmen to invest more money in reproductive health and rights’ services as a commitment to resolve Africa’s growing health challenges.
Pohamba, who is also the patron of the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA), was speaking during the opening of the four-day 5th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights at a local hotel on Wednesday.
“I believe that through the expansion of reproductive health services, we can surely go very far in curbing all social evils affecting our continent. The challenge, therefore, is a serious lack of funds to expand the services,” she noted.
The First Lady said the debate on youth sexuality should be encouraged, because the dividends from that debate will greatly benefit not only the Namibian nation, but the continent as a whole.
The continent is rocked with several cases of teenage pregnancies, abortion and baby dumping, as well as high maternal and child mortality.
Over the past five years, NAPPA has witnessed a steady growth in the delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights and services.
The association has six clinics that are fully-operational countrywide. These clinics were established primarily to provide adolescent-friendly health services to the youth as beneficiaries and other segments of the community.
“The services are provided in a comprehensive manner in addressing all components of reproductive health and rights and family planning,” said Pohamba.
NAPPA, an affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), organised the conference under the theme “Acknowledging Milestones: Accelerating Access to Sexual Health and Rights in Africa”.
The conference will discuss, among others, Sexual and Reproductive Rights – Legal; Policy and Programme Issues (including financing sexual and reproductive health); and the Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Adolescents and the Youth.
It ends on Saturday.