PARENTS are an important source of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) information for adolescents and are likely to have a significant influence on adolescents’ sexual attitudes, values and risk related beliefs, according to the Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA).
Feb. 16, 2022
2 min read
Sexual and reproductive issues essential – LPPA
LPPA Youth Officer, Lebeoana Kholokholo
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Lebeoana Kholokholo, the LPPA Youth Officer told Maseru Metro that the parents needed to be empowered with adequate and factual sexual and reproductive information and effective communication strategies to enhance dialogue with their young children.
He said the LPPA through UNESCO’s support was currently in the process of implementing parent-child communication sessions in Quthing and Mokhotlong, with the intention of bridging the gap between parents, guardians and their children by communicating openly about sexual and reproductive issues.
Mr Kholokholo said this would allow young people, with the support of their parents, to freely access integrated sexual and reproductive issues, HIV, and Gender Based Violence (GBV) services and information in the fight against teenage pregnancy and new HIV infections.
He said this was done in collaboration with implementing the partners based in both districts.
“Parent-child communication about SRHR especially at the early stage of puberty is important in shaping what adolescents believe, think and how they behave regarding their sexual health,” Mr Kholokholo said.
One of the parents who received training from the LPPA, ’Makhoboso Letsie said while some parents did not approve romantic and sexual relationships among adolescents, they never discussed sex and romance with the young children.
“Often, they punish them for getting involved in engagements,” she said.
“There is a need for improved communication strategies for parent-child dialogues on SRHR issues, where parents need to be empowered with factual and up to date information. It ensures helpful discussions between parents and children in early puberty.”
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’Mamoshoeshoe Ntjana, who spoke on behalf the young people who attended the Quthing training, said she learned they had to avoid sex at a young age so that they did not fall victims of teenage pregnancy.
“The youth need to have a bright future,” Ms Ntjana said. “Above all, we have to listen to our parents, respect them and also believe in what they tell us regarding sexual and reproductive issues.”
The LPPA said more girls than boys reportedly talked to their parents about romantic relationships.
While parents’ hostile attitudes towards romantic relationships and during adolescence discourage openness about such relationships, communication that occurs is mainly reactive; one sided, authoritarian and often initiated by parents.
LPPA is an association that provides a comprehensive range of SRHR including family planning and the management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).