By Peter Magoola
Uganda’s government and Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) have agreed to expedite the implementation of critical reproductive health policies and pledges.
The proposed national health policy for 2018, the national adolescent health policy, and the 2016 Universal Periodic Review commitments on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) are among the important policies and commitments mentioned.
Dr. Dinah Nakiganda, Assistant Commissioner for Adolescent and School Health, believes that not only understanding the status of the school health policy and its road map is critical if the policy is to be implemented on time, but also understanding the key SRHR issues that adolescents and young people in Uganda face today.
She believes that incorporating the underlying SRHR issues into the policies and commitments would be beneficial to the goals.
Senior Educationist Henry Semakula of the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) examines the impending Universal Periodic Review process, which he believes should be aligned to ensure that policies and pledges are met on time.
They agreed to collaborate closely with civil society organizations (CSOs) in aligning the draft National School Health Policy with the draft Regulatory Impact Assessment Report in order to ensure that the concerns and solutions to address them are consistent.
They also agreed to include Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) as a partner in the creation and preparation of a cost action plan for the implementation of Uganda’s National School Health Policy through the Right Here, Right Now-2 project (RHRN-2).
The UNHCR delegate, Javier, stated that his agency will collaborate closely with RHU’s Right Here Right Now-2 project to reinforce the universal periodic reviews and Uganda’s 2016 promises.
The commitments from government ministries, civil society organizations, and UNHCR, according to Samuel Mwandara, RHU Right Here, Right Now-2 project Coordinator, mean a good working relationship that will foster a good environment to achieve RHU and the Right Here, Right Now-2 project’s objections in Uganda.
The Right Here, Right Now 2 (RHRN2) Partnership was established to ensure that young people of all backgrounds have access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in gender-just communities.
The initiative, which is now being led by RHU and six other partners, aims to raise public support for young people’s SRHR, reform policies and regulations, and strengthen civil society through empowering youth.
Lobbying and advocacy, according to Mwandara, are the project’s major strategies, which are backed up by mutual capacity-building.
The RHRN2 initiative does not shy away from controversial topics including SRHR education and information, safe abortion, and the rights of marginalized people like girls, young women, and other vulnerable and marginalized communities.