I would like to share what we are seeing here; children; adolescent and young mobile phone ownership and unlimited access to website platform that provide information on RH including the pornographic images and videos, independently of parents and usual communication channels. I want to say that children and young learn early, permanently and are curious to experience themselves their sexuality.
Yet, the talk about sex is taboo in the DRC in these ages, and most adults don’t allow any related discourse. In the first menses apparition, the aunts, mainly advice girls to avoid boys and to protect themselves of getting unwanted pregnancies, event that diminishes the lack of getting marriage. Boys in their side are called to avoid having sexual intercourse with girls. These messages are today outdated, with ICTs development, these adults have lost the control of children and young users of mobile phone and those having unlimited access to these tools.
The teens aged (15-18) need to be trained in the fact of being female; menstrual cycle, hygienic female protection and positives girls’ behaviors). Considering the ICTs impact on children and young; the comprehensive sexual education need to be done. I know that it is not easy to advocate for that in Sub Sahara Africa Community and religious contexts, but our current modern life dependent to ICTs enforce us to afford the reality in face. Early we will communicate with children and youth, great will be a positive outcome yield we will have in term of avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and births. This outcome walks together with RH services demand, especially FP by creating demand , making availabledifferent choices of modern contraceptive , bringing support for those girlsand young in need and providing clinical modern contraceptive services .
I understand the hard discussion between pro and cons comprehensive sexual education to younger age groups but I am sure to have seen similar reaction in DRC during the introductory sensitization in the condom use to fight against HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the initial stage, the barriers were total, today the cons group is less than 10% and decrease every day, the sensitization and condom use campaigns are held across all social strata including in religious areas. I believe that we need to support the Comprehensive Sexual Education Campaign by emphasizing in FP. In addition, the RH right and existing laws need to be shared to fight against girls trafficking, sexual abuse and rape, early marriages, etc.
HIFA profile: Andre Shongo Diamba is a medical doctor, he got a Master of PublicHealth international health degree from school of health and tropical medicine,Tulane University, USA in 2016 and is flexible to job opportunities.Previously, Andre worked as coordinator at PISRF- Programme Intégré de santé dereproduction et familial (Integrated program of reproductive health andFamily), a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) participative NGO of FamilyPlanning and Reproductive Health, committed in awareness and care providing infavor of women and children of low social area , and toward this group to wholecommunity. PISRF undertakes sociological, public health and biomedicalresearches in the family planning and reproductive health (education, sexualitywithout risk, safe motherhood, HIV/AIDS prevention), it encourages the humanitarianand research projects and ensures results dissemination to all. Andre has along experience in providing community reproductive health projects suchinformation, communication - education; care services and research leading. Hehas participated at numerous international conferences in the field ofreproductive health and population, health, environment. Andre is interested topromote the Social Development Goal (SDGs) in the DRC and very engaged, Hepledges for public private partnership and the improving of use of mobile phoneas a network able to raise the awareness of reproductive health and support thecountry commitment to do progress in this field. He received the HIFA CountryRepresentatives certificate of achievement in 2013.
Andre can be contacted at pisrfrdcATyahoo.fr