Faith to Action Network partnered with PRB to offer Eastern African faith leaders, health workers and young people a voice. An all-new video and policy brief describe their support for policies enabling improved access to age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and education in Eastern Africa. The East African Community is home to 38 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24. Youth have different health needs than adults and require health services that are friendly to these needs. Faith leaders play a vital role to youth in their communities, including sharing SRH information, and faith communities are united in their desire to support youth as the region’s next generation of leaders. Because of faith leaders’ work in local communities, they are intimately familiar with the challenges that youth face, such as girls losing out on education because of adolescent pregnancies and the health risks faced by these young mothers’ children. Leaders from different faiths recognize that their counseling for young people must include providing youth with SRH information and education that is appropriate and relevant to their age and development. Many of them support harmonization of policies on youth SRH in the region.
Both the video and the factsheet call on decisionmakers to Engage with faith leaders, who can be effective SRH policy champions in their communities and a valuable resource to decisionmakers; to enact a new East African SRH bill to promote the health and wellbeing of East African youth and build human capital.