Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) is one of the indicators within the new Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) three (3) on health. SRH not only affects an individual, but impacts on intimate relationships, families, communities and the nation overall as it strives for sustainable development. Individuals need to have access to information, comprehensive services, treatment and various reproductive health commodities so that they can make decisions regarding the number of children they may choose to have and/or how to remain healthy and protect themselves from various illnesses and diseases including HIV/AIDS.
This is why under the DRF/DRAF financial support and UPHLS facilitation, Rwanda Union of Little People trained its members from Musanze and Nyamasheke districts on HIV/AIDS prevention measures and SRH rights.
Honorine TUYISHIMIRE, RULP Executive Director said that many persons with Short Stature do not have any information or false information related to HIV/AIDS prevention measures and SRH mainly due to stigma and discrimination, the way hey are taken in the family, illiterate and many more reasons.
“Persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls, face many barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) among them discrimination, stigma, and negative cultural beliefs about persons with disabilities, especially persons with short stature and lack of information. A lack of inclusive resources, infrastructure, materials, and training for healthcare staff on the needs of persons with disabilities act as barriers to access services” She said.
“That is why this training are so important to Persons with Short Stature as people in a marginalized group. In addition, information and services to be provided should be age appropriate and free from any stigma or discrimination. We have to remember that the majority of HIV infections are sexually transmitted or are associated with pregnancy or breastfeeding”. She added.
Jean Paul MUKESHIMANA, a man with Short Stature who attended the training said that such training is so important to persons with short stature as a number of them are still taken as children that their families do not allow them be aware saying that they are not concern of that. “We are taken as children due to our height. And this a kind of discrimination because we are as adults as others though we are short, we need that information because our body function normally and it is our right”
M. Appoline BUNTUBWIMAN, RULP Legal Representative requested to participants to share the gathered knowledge to others in their communities and their self- help groups where they meet and to always discuss issues that aim at resolving the challenges they face as persons with short stature. “Please, do not stay with that information alone. Share with others not only with Disability, but also all persons need that information and it will help you to know more because the more you peak, the more you gain more information from others”.
“Moreover, use whatever you have trained against HIV/AIDS and fight for your right as well as related to Sexual Reproductive Health because know those issues about HIV/AIDS and have more information on sexual and reproductive health is a health right to everyone”. She added
The training took a place at Garden Place Hotel Musanze on 27 April 2023 and in Nyamasheke District at Ishala beach Motel on 28 April 2023.