Adolescents’ Health in Uganda

harriet

Ms. Harriet Namulondo and Ms. Carolyn Namutebi have a long trajectory in the implementation of sexual and reproductive health programs in Uganda. They started working together in the Concern for Children and Women’s Empowerment NGO in 2008. In 2010, they founded the community-based organization Civic Education Network International, which was officially registered as the NGO Centre for Transformative Parenting and Research (CTPR). Through their work in the aforementioned organizations, Harriet and Carolyn have been dedicated to build capacities of community members and civil society organizations in the primary prevention of violence against children through interventions assessing familial and school processes associated with poor parenting and teaching practices, poor parental bonding, corporal punishment, and gender-driven differential socialization and sexualization of girls and boys. They have also been engaged in research on labia minora elongation [1] [2] [3], violence against women and children [4], menstrual health management (MHM), and corporal punishment in primary schools.

Harriet and Carolyn have identified the lack of education, social support and sanitation for MHM as a major violation of women’s and girls’ rights that is oftentimes neglected by the Ugandan society and development agencies. In Uganda, many girls drop out from school when they start having their menses because of a lack of hygiene means and support from their parents, relatives and male peers. Harriet and Carolyn are advocates for the engagement of boys and men in MHM training, and view it as a measure to end discrimination against girls when they reach puberty. Out of the activities involving boys and men in MHM, workshops on reusable knitting pads have been the most successful. More research is warranted in that direction.

AfWORO assists Mrs. Namulondo and Mrs. Namutebi in the preparation of an impact evaluation of the MHM component of the CTPR sexual and reproductive health programs, and in the conduct of qualitative research on men’s perceptions and attitudes towards MHM. Additionally, since the outset of this collaboration, AfWORO has provided support to CTPR in the preparation of grant proposals to competitive calls with the aim of ensuring that CTPR MHM programs involving boys and men have continuity and can be rolled out to more Ugandan districts.