The National Assembly of Seychelles Committee on Communicable Diseases, HIV/AIDS and SRHR organised a Capacity Building Workshop under the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV and Aids Governance Project on Thursday 09th July 2020 at ICCS.
This workshop was open for all Members of the National Assembly to inform them on the current HIV/AIDS and SRHR issues in relation to the gap between the age of consent to sex and access to contraceptives and also access to health rights and services.
The aim of the workshop was to specifically equip them with sufficient knowledge on the issues at hand which will enable them to understand the objectives of two relevant Motions that is to be tabled before the end of this term. This will hopefully culminate in amendments of existing legislation governing the issues of HIV/AIDS and the sexual reproductive health and rights of adolescents.
Various stakeholders were mobilized to attend the event since they are central entities that oversee and collect data pertaining to the issue of HIV/AIDS and SRHR.
The meeting was moderated by the SRHR Researcher for the SADC PF Governance Project and the Vice Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. John Hoareau made the opening remarks.
The main points that were discussed and raised were in regards to the rising numbers of HIV/AIDS in Seychelles amongst other STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
The speakers also noted several other alarming points such as the rising numbers of HIV positive pregnant women. They highlighted the modes of HIV transmission from the years of 2017-2019 and the ways for HIV Prevention which includes treatment and practicing safe sex.
It was noted that the average age that Seychellois girls start to have sexual relations is from the ages of 15-17 years and there is a huge percentage of teenage pregnancies and abortions, most of which end up being “incomplete” abortions, which are very unsafe and require medical attention in the end. The statistics also showed that the reported number of pregnancies were over 400 yearly from the years of 2008-2019 for girls that are 12-19 years of age.
One speaker in particular spoke of the Maputo Plan of Action 201-2030, which provides a framework to achieve universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and services in Africa in the post-2015 period. The plan was developed by the African Union Commission and follows on from the Maputo Plan of Action 2007-2015. Some of its ultimate goals are to; expand contraceptive use, reduce levels of unsafe abortions, amongst others.