Fiona Ruzha, H-Metro Reporter
SCHOOL going children who have only accomplished primary education have recorded the highest birth rate, a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2019 has indicated.
The study has revealed that the birth rate for those who have achieved primary education was eight times higher than those with higher education with primary education having recorded 175 births per 1000 while higher education has 21 births per 1000.
The country’s birth rate is also recorded to be four times higher in women from the poorest as opposed to those from rich households.
Family Health Director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Bernard Madzima blamed this predicament on poverty and lack of education.
“Poverty and lack of education increases the vulnerability of women as many end up getting pregnant early.
“Reducing adolescent fertility and addressing the multiple factors underlying it is essential for improving sexual and reproductive health and the social and economic wellbeing of adolescents.
“Preventing births very early in a woman’s life is also an important measure to improve maternal health and reduce infant mortality rate,” he said.
He said Government was working towards achieving universal access to quality integrated family planning and contraceptive services to reduce unplanned pregnancies, especially among teenagers.
He said these efforts were sometimes undermined by parents who deny their children open access to contraceptives.
Dr Madzima said there was need for a collective approach in dealing with high birth rates among adolescents by allowing young people access comprehensive sexuality education.
“There are efforts to be in compliance to the World Health Organisation standards for SRH services.
“Zimbabwe has a comprehensive SRHR program offering hospital friendly services age appropriate interventions guided by the SRH strategy,” he said.