The increasing rate of risky behaviours among the East African adolescents has greater burden to the adolescent, family and the society. Young women in this region are exposed to potential sexual and reproductive health problems including sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, contraception, sexual abuse and rape, female genital mutilation, and maternal or child mortality. This is attributed by failure of communication of most parents in this region with their adolescents on issues of sexuality and reproductive health like condom use, puberty, STIs and physical development. On the base of academic literature and other materials, this paper argues that parents’- adolescents’ communication on sexual and reproductive health issues in this region is circumscribed by various factors including gender differences, level of education among parents, occupations, traditional norms and religion. The paper concludes that, parents and other adults’ discussion with adolescents on reproductive health issues is imperative in reducing risky behaviors among adolescents. For effective communication on reproductive health issues, parents and adults need to be educated on their roles as primary source of information to their children. Furthermore, there is a need to address gender differences and socio-cultural norms that hinder effective communication.
Key words: Parent, adolescent, sexuality, reproductive health, communication, barriers, East Africa.
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