Unity Student Representatives Participate in Reproductive Health Related Conference
Unity University students’ representatives participated in a one-day Conference on Premature Pregnancy and Abortion in Youth and Adolescents, which was held in Adama town on February 7, 2018.
The two representatives of Unity University Students’ Council who participated in the Conference were Bemnet T/Mariam, 4th year student from Architecture and Urban Planning Department, and Treasurer of the Council; and Nuruhussein Mohammed, 2nd year student from Computer Science Department, and Secretary of the Council. According to the student participants, the Conference was organised by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, and other collaborative partners. The representatives revealed that Conference participants were drawn from youth associations, representatives from religious organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) that work on youth development, university student leaders, international consultants and research fellows.
The student representatives pointed out that as per the programme for the Conference, the session kicked off with opening addresses by invited guests from representative ministries. They further noted that the invited guests talked about the scope and relevance of the topic. This was followed by presentations of research findings by representatives from different institutions under the ministries. In the process, the researchers defined the issue’s relevance, character and victims; and delineated the scope of the issue, with the help of statistical data. Responsible bodies for the cause of the problems, victimizing environments and possible mitigating strategies were also presented.
It was learnt that following the plenary session, there were group discussions, whereby participants exchanged experiences and shared good practices. In conclusion, the points of common understanding were collected to form a single document that was taken as the proposition for the problem. The same was forwarded to the presenters, who used the comments as valuable input. At the closing, the panelists stressed that responsibilities and duties should be discharged by all pertinent bodies for the effectiveness of the consensus reached at.
Speaking about lessons drawn from the Conference, the student representatives talked about their heightened awareness regarding the causes and serious impacts related to Reproductive Health problems in campus environments, the seriousness of the problems and the need for concerted efforts to mitigate the situation. In this connection, the participants noted the experiences of other institutions of higher learning and expressed the desire to replicate the strategies at Unity University. To this end, they pointed out activities, which they planned to go over with the Council members and subsequently implement with the approval and support of the University Management.