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    Sunday, 17 April 2016

    Bush boarding closed as STIs’ at school soar to 35%





    MIRIAM MANGWAYA
    CHIVHU BUREAU

    CHIKOMBA
    – The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Schools has closed a Chikomba District bush boarding at Hitler Hunzvi Secondary School in Kameel-Lagaape Resettlement after shocking STI's prevalence rate of 35% was discovered a few weeks ago.
    Chivhu General Hospital Medical superintendent Dr Alice Kanyemba declined to comment on the matter although she confirmed that officials from her department were recently at the school.
    Chikomba District Education Officer Ngoni Mujuru confirmed to The Mirror that he had closed down the bush boarding after reports of STI prevalence were confirmed. He referred The Mirror to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for statistics.
    He also told The Mirror that a committee of the teaching staff has been set in the school to guide pupils and curb sexual interaction.
    Pupils who stayed at the boarding will now have to look for places elsewhere or drop out because of distances walked.
    Pupils who were found to be infected were asked to go for treatment but some parents told The Mirror that there are some pupils who were known to be infected but had not gone for treatment and they are feared to be a source of re-infection.
    Parents who spoke to The Mirror expressed their appreciation that the bush boarding had been closed as it had become a source of STIs' for the whole community.
    They alleged that there was gold panning near Mavisi Bus Stop along Harare Road where some female pupils would camp with the gold panners.
    They also alleged that some pupils were seen frequenting a place where ZESA workers carrying out an electrification project were camped in the area.

    "These two activities are believed to be the biggest source of the STI s in the school," said a parent who declined to be named.
    The school which is a satellite of Madzivire Ranch High School is situated between Chivhu and Mvuma, about 20km before Chivhu along the Harare and Chivhu Road.
    Sources told The Mirror that there are 200 pupils at the school and 70 were staying in the bush boarding that comprise of a dilapidated compound and farm houses. The prevalence rate is said to have been highest among pupils staying in the bush boarding.
    The Mirror visited the school on Monday and found the school head still on holiday.
    The school development committee chairperson Daniel Makura also declined to comment but said the boarding was necessary because some pupils were walking more than 20km to school.
    "Pupils were staying at the school's boarding houses because of the long distance they have to walk to school. Some travel from as far as Central Estates in Mvuma, in the Midlands Province," said Makura.
    The STI tests were carried out after a bilharzia outbreak in the school. It was during the visit for the bilharzia outbreak that health officials realised the STI outbreak as well.
    "I can confirm that I received a report on STIs prevalence at Hitler Hunzvi Secondary School. We then set up a guidance and counselling committee consisting of teachers at the school to curb sexual interactions amongst the pupils," said Makura.
     "We received counselling with regards to STIs from nurses who visited the school. That is when some of us were ordered to visit the hospital and get treatment for STIs," said a Form Four pupil who cannot be named.
    Some parents suggested that the school be closed because of poor sanitation and lack of other necessary facilities.
    The school relies on Kapure River for drinking water and other uses.local news

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