Sexual Health Service A Nightmare For Rural Girls

Girls from Chavakadzi in Shamva are facing a nightmare in accessing Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services due to economic challenges. This has left many young girls vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV infections.

Sexual Health Service A Nightmare For Rural Girls
rural girls

 

Girls from Chavakadzi in Shamva are facing a nightmare in accessing Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services due to economic challenges.

This has left many young girls vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV infections.

“Muno muChevakadzi munowanikwa macondom anenge asiiwa nema Health workers asi haasi kutikwanira. Mapiritsi ariko asi anotengeswa $5ZWL kari one ka packet, ndozvimwe zviri kunetsa izvozvo. Depo hariwanikwe, MaJadelle haawanikwe panongowanikwa mapiritsi ega. And Anowanikwa here and there kwete pese pese….”

(In Chevakadzi we only have access to condoms provided for by health workers but they are not enough. Contraceptive pill are sold at $5 per packet, it is one of our challenges. Depo provera and Jadelle are not available at all. Pills are not always there)”

Soaring prices of basic commodities have forced young girls to look for alternatives which later expose them to health hazards.

Recently a Non-Governmental Organisation HOPE for Adolescents and Youth conducted a Community sensitization meeting in Chevakadzi where they launched a project aimed at improving access to affirming and tailored SRH, the Youth Access Initiative, supported by HIVOs.

Through the project, HOPE seeks to increase access and uptake of integrated SRH services by young people to reduce the existing gap within the district.

Sanitary pads are being charged at an exorbitant price of ZWL$19 which is beyond the reach of many rural girls.

HOPE for Adolescence and Youth managing director Michelle Ndlovu said there was a challenge in the district which needs stakeholders to work together.

"There is a serious challenge in the ward and it requires partners to work together and increase the availability of SRH services to the youths. We cannot speak of harnessing the demographic dividend if we fail to invest in the health or Adolescents who are in hard to reach locations,” Ndlovu said.

Chavakadzi is one of the many rural communities that face challenges in accessing tailored and affirming SRH services for young girls. Services include access to comprehensive contraception, HIV testing services, Cancer screening.

Adolescents are a key population in the fight against HIV and AIDS.