Article By Lilian Wambugu Wambui
Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing in all matters related to the reproductive system. SRH is a critical entitlement that determines the wellbeing of an individual and quality of life.
Yet in today’s community, many young people face barriers that prevent them from accessing quality reproductive health information and care. Even those able to find accurate information about their health and right may be unable to access the services needed to protect their health, this limits individuals especially young people from realizing their basic rights as provided in the constitution under Article 43 (1) (a) which guarantees each Kenyan citizen the right to access the highest attainable standard of health including reproductive health care and undermine individual control over decisions concerning their health.
The community, particularly religious leaders, teachers, parents, and healthcare providers should help in reducing the knowledge gap which limits the ability of women and girls to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health.
Improving access to sexual reproductive health services is beneficial to adolescent girls and young women in the community because it saves the life of a mother and child, greatly curbs the transmission of diseases and imparts the ability to give birth to newborns with a better survival rate. It helps in maintaining family economic stability through birth spacing by access and use of contraception. Quality SRH services also contribute to gender equality and empower women by allowing them to realize their full potential in all aspects of their life. Women who can plan the timing and number of their birth have great opportunities for work, education and social participation outside the home. Timely access to sexual reproductive health information and care presents the opportunity to crest good social, physical and physiological stability that will accelerate the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly 3 and 5 on health and gender equality respectively