HIV/AIDS infections have reduced in the past few decades among the world population but this has not been the case among teenagers especially, girls.
According to a UNICEF report, HIV/AIDS infections have been prevalent among teenagers both in Africa and internationally as compared to adults.
It is more alarming that, around 30 teenagers aged between 15-19 years are infected with HIV/AIDS every hour globally. Two-thirds of these infections are among teenage girls.
Speaking at a press conference at the ongoing Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama, Japan, United Nations Population Fund Executive Director Natalia Kanem said that the worry is mostly seen among teenage girls in Africa.
Dr. Kanem said that Africa is one of the most youthful continents, with the rapid population growth leading to several cases of sexual harassments and abuse.
“Because of the rapidly growing population in Africa, the most youthful continent, while we make progress, we are tending to stay in the same place. That is why in Nairobi, we are calling for accelerating the potential that the Cairo Programme of Action calls for,” Dr. Kanem said.
Most cases of gender-based violence and sexual abuse have been affecting women in Africa.
“Unfinished needs include one in five women who cannot meet their family planning needs as they wish, one in three women who were married before the age of 18, and one in three women who face sexual and gender-based violence.”
“Among the causes of death among teenage girls, pregnancy complications are right at the top,” Dr. Kanem said.
Dr. Kanem was accompanied with the acting Cabinet Secretary of Treasury, Ukur Yatani where they were reflecting on what is to be discussed at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) to be held in Nairobi from November 12 to 14 at KICC.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ICPD Programme of Action. The anniversary will be marked by reviewing the centrality of the ICPD Programme of Action to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and determine whether ICPD is still relevant 25 years on.
CS Yatani said Universal health coverage is one of our key pillars, which will enable us to eliminate poverty and establish a legacy of prosperity.
The treasury CS said that despite the challenges faced during the organization of the summit in terms of financing and planning, the conference will happen as scheduled.