…As world celebrates World Contraception Day
As the world is set to commemorate World Contraception Day on September 26, Masvingo will join the rest of the globe with a unique celebration following a realization of preliminary decrease in teenage pregnancies in three of its seven districts namely Zaka, Bikita and Chiredzi.
The results released by Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) office in Masvingo shows that there is a notable decrease in cases of teenage pregnancies with Bikita that recorded 2085 cases in 2019 reducing to 1200 in 2021, Chiredzi had 1980 in 2019 and 1300 in 2021 and Zaka has seen a decrease from 1329 in 2019 to 1200 in 2021 all pointing to a downward trend for the province.
ZNFPC Provincial marketing and Communications Officer Herbert Chikosi said efforts from ZNFPC and partners like Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, SolidaMed and Ministry of Health and Child Care had helped realize positive results.
He added that this year’s commemorations will be held in Mount Darwin under the theme ‘Contraception: it’s your life, it’s your responsibility’.
“The theme for this year is Contraception: it’s your life it’s your responsibility. We are still placing emphasis on the idea of ‘Kids by Choice not by chance’ and that every pregnancy should count.
“It is our commitment as Zimbabwe to ensure that we stay within the vision that every pregnancy is wanted. It’s our commitment to improve awareness of contraception with more emphasis on enabling young people to make informed decisions on sexual reproductive health,” said Chikosi.
He said the thrust for Masvingo province in terms of the world contraception day is amplifying issues around child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
“As a province, our effort has been to fight child marriages and teenage pregnancies. There is a significant improvement in terms of access to contraceptives amongst young people.
“We were targeting four districts namely Zaka, Bikita and Chiredzi as well as Masvingo from 2021-2022 and based on statistics, there was an improvement in terms of access of Long Act Reversible Contraceptives- (LARCs) with the support from SolidaMed. We have also pushed for the girl child to be in school,” said Chikosi.
Culture however remains a challenge in the fight against teenage pregnancies as unmarried girls have a challenge in accessing contraceptives following myths and misconceptions that girls cannot use contraceptives.