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5th National Students Conference communiqué
Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT)
January 14, 2011

We students from 33 tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe and representatives from University of Pretoria, Catholic University Mozambique, University of Kwazulu Natal, University of Namibia and University of Zambia gathered during the SAYWHAT National Student's Conference from the 12th to the 15th of December 2010 at the Crown Plaza in Harare, acknowledge that Sexual and Reproductive Health remains a priority and that rights are essential as we enter into a new decade.

We appreciate the Support of the Ministry of Health, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT), Norwegian Students and Academics International Fund (SAIH), and Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC).

We identify priority areas around:

  • Improving access to quality student friendly services that are sensitive to gender and the needs of students living with HIV and those with special needs
  • The need to scale up condom and male circumcision interventions to encourage uptake amongst students in tertiary institutions
  • Budgetary commitments to support institution based initiatives such as peer education and life skills by college authorities, governments and other partners
  • Creating Media programming and initiatives that includes new ICTs to relay SRH information for students in tertiary institutions
  • Development for an M and E framework for SRH initiatives that will be used by college authorities and line ministries
  • Integration of SRH, Gender and HIV for more effective responses that are complimentary
  • Enshrining the right to health within the bill of rights within the upcoming constitution
  • Supporting research and documentation for evidence based SRH initiatives for students in tertiary institutions

To achieve these priority areas our focus should resonate around:

  • Having youth representatives within National bodies and councils to facilitate resource mobilization and budgetary prioritization for student's programming within structures such as the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism and the board of institutions such as National AIDS Council and Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council
  • Sexual and Reproductive health programs that are gender sensitive and that are demand driven and specific to the peculiar needs of students
  • Taking commitments and policies from paper to students through allowing them to be leaders of today and realizing their capabilities of shaping SRH responses
  • Ensuring political willingness by college authorities and line ministries in committing adequate resources to support student driven SRH initiatives.
  • Developing comprehensive curriculum based sexuality education for students that is appropriate for the real and not perceived challenges they face
  • Interrogating the structural and practical challenges that the termination of Pregnancy Act pose for students in tertiary institutions with improved efforts towards reinforcing messages on the provision of post abortion care

We realize the collective responsibility of Parliament, line ministries, college authorities, students, funding and implementing partners in realizing these priorities.

Visit the SAYWHAT fact sheet

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