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    Saturday, 13 April 2019

    Family Planning Council tackles child marriages in Beitbridge


    ELLEN MLAMBO
    BEITBRIDGE BUREAU

    BEITBRIDGE – The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has been conducting sexuality education and parent to child communication workshops in Mat South in a bid to address high STI prevalence rates, drug abuse, teenage pregnancies and marriages.
    ZNFPC Mat South provincial manager Nelson Mashiri confirmed the development. Workshops were held from Wednesday to Friday in the four strategic youth centers namely Zezani and Tongwe in Beitbridge District and Valukhalo and Ingwizi in Mangwe District.
    Mashiri said the national on- going program is to alleviate challenges faced by youths which include but not limited to child marriages, teenage pregnancies, drug abuse, HIV and AIDS, STI’s, child headed families, and school drop outs and date- rape families.
    Mat South is among the worst provinces in terms of reproductive health problems. It has an HIV prevalence rate of 22% compared to the national of 14%, it has the highest adult HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe at 19%, its teenage pregnancy rate at 30% is the second highest for any province in the country. The highest is Mash Central with 31 percent and the lowest is Harare with 10%.
    The workshops are done by the provincial support and supervisory team to the youth centers together with facilitators and peer educators. One of the key strategies of the programme is educating parents on parent to child communication.
    “We want to improve communication between parents and their children. HIV prevalence in Mat South is at 22 percent and the national prevalence rate is 14 percent,” said Mashiri.
    He said ZNFPA target is to reduce child marriages from 24% to 12% by 2020.
    “Zimbabwe is one of the countries which participated in the London Family Planning Forum and the comprehensive sexuality education program complements the motive to solve such related challenges,” he said.

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