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Sexual and reproductive services will improve health of SA's youth

Access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) services, including contraceptives, HIV testing and counselling, pregnancy testing and family planning are desirable in schools as youth have limited information and access to these services and products.

Genesis Analytics supported the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to investigate the understanding, accessibility and acceptability of providing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to boys and girls attending school in South Africa.

Our team undertook discussions with school leaners to understand what their SRH needs were and how best to deliver these services and products that would encourage their appropriate use among learners.

We also conducted interviews with teachers and discussions with parents to understand what was acceptable and feasible in terms of making these services and products available at schools.

The research findings were presented at multiple platforms to the DBE, donor groups such as the Gates Foundation and UNFPA, as well as to life orientation officials.

We used the results to workshop models of service delivery with NGOs, donor groups, broader government departments and academic institutions. The models consider the realities of learners in both rural and urban areas, and the roles that both government and NGOs play in making vital SRH services and products available to the South African youth.

A rapid decline in fertility, investment in family planning, improved child survival and educating girls allows young people to contribute meaningfully to South Africa’s economy. By improving the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of our youth, South Africa can take full advantage of its demographic dividend.

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