Nyasha Chawatama recently in Rushinga
…to reduce STI and child marriages
Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination (SAFAIDS) commissioned Tanaka SAFAIDS Young 4 Real Youth and Adolescent Clinic in Rushinga District, Mashonaland Central last Friday.
The clinic is set to help the youth in improving the know-how of the reproductive system and also reduce child marriages.
Speaking during the launch, SAFAIDS Executive Director Lois Chingandu, said:
“The purpose of launching the clinic is to market its services and showcase state of the art facilities to communities and demonstrate how young people will be provided with information, referral pathways and holistic HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health and rights services.
“Rushinga district has high rate of child marriages and if a girl reaches the age of 21 without married she will be stigmatised in the community and it will cause more girls to be married without reaching the age of 18.
“There is a huge need of information about sexual health reproductive and advocating for the girl child not to go into child marriage so that girls are given an opportunity to grow and be whoever want to be.”
SAFAIDS will provide transport vouchers for young people (in and out of school) to get health services at the clinic and they will use Gender Based Violence (GBV) desks which have been established in some of the schools.
“We are going to provide transport vouchers to assist young people who are financially challenged to visit the clinic and it will be given to those who have serious cases or affected with STIs, rape and reproductive health.
“We want all 72 schools in Rushinga district to have GBV desks so that to ensure young people will not walk long distances to look for health services and it will help us to get more information or issues affecting them.”
Member of Parliament for Rushinga Constituency, Tendai Nyabani applauded the work that have been done by SAFAIDS to come up with this initiative programme of having a clinic for young people.
“I want to thank SAFAIDS with this program that will going to help young people in this constituency.
“We were looking for partners for the past years who will be able to educate our youth on issues of health and drug abuse and SAFAIDS have come to rescue us.
“We have high rate of unwanted pregnancies and child marriage due to lake of education.
“This program is going to change life of many youth and I encourage them to visit the clinic to know their health status.
“We want more partners to support this program to ensure that child marriage, drug abuse and school dropout will come to an end,” said MP Nyabani.