Bringing Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education to Girls in northern Uganda

Water and sanitationAmref Health Africa meets the community’s needs by increasing access to education for girls at Atanga Secondary School. Education and health go hand in hand.

Date of project implementation Phase 1: 2009-2013
Date of project implementation Phase 2: 2014-
Funder: AG Women Leading Change Foundation

Situation – As an all-girls school, Atanga Secondary School students urgently need adolescent sexual and reproductive health education.

Atanga Secondary School is located in close proximity to major trade routes, making the students of the all-girls school vulnerable to pregnancy and other sexual health related issues such as HIV/AIDS.

  • HIV infection rates tend to be higher near major trade routes.
  • Against this backdrop the students need adolescent sexual and reproductive health education.
  • The school also needs to improve its infrastructure, especially in science labs, to encourage studying health sciences.
  • In Phase 1, Amref Health Africa built latrines, a dining hall, classrooms, a girls’ dorm, science labs and a library.

Action – Amref Health Africa meets the needs of adolescent girls by supporting health education, improving infrastructure, and improving teacher recruitment.

By increasing the number of girls enrolling in school, Atanga can increase the number of girls completing their secondary education and pursuing postsecondary school. In Phase 2, Amref Health Africa will build on its successes of Phase 1.

  • Amref Health Africa continues to support the school health club in offering workshops, theatrical performances, and story-telling sessions about adolescent sexual and reproductive health.
  • Amref Health Africa will improve learning infrastructure by upgrading science labs and by furnishing the dining hall, libraries and classrooms.
  • To attract more and higher quality teachers, Amref Health Africa will construct 4 housing units for teachers with separate sanitation facilities, helping to reduce the student-to-teacher ratio.

“Better-educated women translate to fewer and healthier offspring. Her earning power is higher and there is a direct relationship between poverty reduction and healthy communities. -Kate Giesbrecht, Programme Coordinator, 2013

Results – Girls stay in school for longer and gain agency over their professional future. When girls’ education improves, community health improves, too.

More girls will complete secondary school, delay parenthood, and stay safe from sexual diseases.

  • Amref Health Africa will track the number of girls enrolling in and completing each grade, allowing us to track progress.
  • Amref Health Africa also monitors the academic performance of girls at the school.
  • More girls will stay safe, stay healthy, and pursue postsecondary education.

Partners

AG Women Leading Change Foundation

Project at a glance

Situation

Barriers for girls reaching postsecondary education include cultural factors (e.g. responsibilities at home, early marriages), unplanned pregnancies, illness and financial reasons.

By learning about reproductive and sexual health and rights, secondary school girls learn how to delay parenthood and stay healthy.

Delaying parenthood increases the likelihood for future financial success and healthier children.

Action

Amref Health Africa supports the school health club to carry out educational activities about adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Amref Health Africa will construct an incinerator to safely, hygienically and discreetly dispose of used sanitary products.

Amref Health Africa will build 4 new units of teacher housing and 4 latrines for teachers to help attract more and highly qualified educators.

Results

More girls will enroll in each grade, stay in school longer, and perform better academically.

Kevin O'Neill
Director of Programs

Kevin O'NeillWant to partner with Amref Health Africa in Canada on a health project? Want to know more about our projects? Get in touch with our Director of Programs, Kevin O'Neill.