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HOME: POPULATION ISSUES: PREVENTING HIV INFECTION: Global Youth Partners
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Egypt

Youth Partner

Name: Mohammad El-sheikh
Age: 22
Nationality: Egyptian
Affiliated Organization:

International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations ( IFMSA)

Mohammad Ahmad El-sheikh, 22, is the elected representative of the GYP Egypt team. He is currently a 6th medical year student is coordinating a leadership training program among his faculty colleagues. He has been working in the field of HIV prevention projects for more than 3 years and has recently participated in two regional Arab meeting for the discussion of youth challenges and incorporating RSH & HIV/AIDS in youth programs. Mohammad has been involved in a range of volunteering work aiming to promote youth participation and leadership.

 

Name: Ahmed Malah
Age: 19
Nationality: Egyptian
Affiliated Organization:

International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations ( IFMSA)

Ahmed is the elected assistant representative for the GYP Egypt team and a fourth year medical student in the University of Mansoura. He works on Public and Reproductive health issues such as HIV/AIDS, TB and Hepatitis and been part of several projects at the local and the national levels.

Ahmed thinks that HIV/AIDS is more than a mere health issue. The social and economic aspects make it a complex issue, which needs to be addressed with transparency by governments to prevent any misconceptions about the size and intensity of the issue. The public should be ready to change their views and stigma towards people living with HIV and AIDS.

Ahmed dreams of the day when the government becomes transparent and when the people are ready to break the taboos that mislead them.

UNFPA in Egypt

Egypt’s major challenge remains its population size (65.1 million), despite a decrease in population growth. With nearly 37 per cent of the population below the age of 15, the population is expected to grow at least until 2025, reaching an estimated 120 million by 2030. These demographic trends have serious implications for the sustainability of development efforts seeking to improve the quality of life of Egyptian citizens.

While significant progress has been recorded in reaching some of the international development goals, in particular those related to maternal and child health care, major gaps remain. The reproductive health needs of women are not addressed holistically, with maternal health and family planning services provided separately under a vertical health care system. Certain groups tend to be neglected, including adolescents and youth, despite their high fertility. Almost 50 per cent of girls get married before age 20 and most conceive soon after marriage. Eighty-six per cent of girls are circumcised and while attitudes are gradually changing, the practice remains deeply rooted.

The UNFPA 5-year country program for the period of 2002 and 2006 has been put in place with the main focus of the reproductive health sub-program on the effort of increasing the utilization of quality reproductive health services, including HIV prevention services, particularly among adolescents and youth. The main focus of the reproductive health sub-program addresses the unmet needs of adolescents and youth. The strategic approach is to promote awareness among policy makers and within the community and to create partnerships with relevant institutions, in particular civil society organizations, to effectively reach young people. UNFPA also provides support for developing culturally sensitive educational materials and messages for young people. Innovative approaches have been utilized to reach in-school and out-of-school young people, involving parents, teachers, and community and youth leaders.

The design of these innovative techniques is based on the results of field research which highlights the reproductive health needs of young people and the situation analysis of attitudes and stigma regarding vulnerable groups of the population. As UNFPA was elected to chair Egypt's Expanded Thematic Group for HIV/AIDS in June, 2004, (ETG) it is expected to play a leading role in Egypt in the area of AIDS prevention.

http://www.unfpa.org/arabstates/egypt/7egt0206.doc
http://www.gypegypt.org

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