Kazakh Health Ministry and UNFPA launch website to provide reproductive health information
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Kazakhstan have launched a package of communications products providing age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health information to adolescents, young adults and their parents.
The products include a website, a mobile application and a Telegram chatbot, which have been produced as in support to the Government of Kazakhstan’s continued investment in the health and well-being of young people. This support is one the building blocks to strengthen and institutionalize youth-friendly health services in the country, as reflected in national policies and reiterated during the landmark Nairobi Summit, the official website of the UNFPA in Kazakhstan reads.
The Ministry of Health and UNFPA has made great strides in raising the importance of sexual and reproductive health of young people and strengthening Youth Health Centres. However, data show that there is still more work to be done if we are to consolidate our progress and achieve our long-term goals.
Apart from the communications products, the package includes the development of a strategy for sustainable development and financing of Youth Health Centres (YHC); a series of protocols governing the work of specialists working in the Centres as well as psychological and legal counselling. Support is also provided for the YHCs to become «resource» centres and ‘knowledge hubs’ for other organizations.
«Youth health centers will become healthcare facilities, which are going to provide medical and psychological assistance to minors. Their main goal will be to raise awareness among adolescents and young people on promoting a healthy lifestyle and protecting reproductive health, including the prevention of early sexual activity, the use of contraceptives, prevention of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections as well promoting family planning», - said Vice Minister of Health Azhar Giniyat.
The latest survey conducted by the Ministry of Health with UNFPA’s support shows that 30% of adolescents in Kazakhstan aged 15 to 19 are sexually active, yet many don’t use any form of contraception and the overwhelming majority (90%) don’t have comprehensive knowledge about HIV and AIDS. In another survey young people and their parents reported on the need for more information on sexual and reproductive health and on the challenges to receiving relevant and accurate information on the same.
«Investing in young people’s sexual and reproductive health also means empowering young people to make informed decisions about their health, empowering young people to know and exercise their rights – including the right to delay marriage and to plan a pregnancy, the right to refuse unwanted sexual advances, the right to receive sensitive counseling, the prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Age appropriate information that is accurate and relevant as well as friendly health services are key. Hopefully the communications products launched today constitute another step towards ensuring that young people know how to protect their health and make informed decisions,» said Giulia Vallese, UNFPA Representative for Kazakhstan and Country Director for Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.
The website, the mobile application and the Telegram chatbot grouped under the name «Shyn» (from Kazakh «Frankly speaking»), were produced both in Kazakh and Russian languages in collaboration with a team of national experts under the guidance and technical support of UNFPA Kazakhstan and headquarters.
The products may be accessed in the following way:
Website - https://shyn.kz/;
Telegram chatbot - @shynkzbot.