Thursday, August 11, 2022

Masvingo’s 61 girls impregnated, 49 married in two months



Wayne Ncube

report by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium
Enterprises Development presented in parliament last week placed Masvingo
province on third place on teenage pregnancies and fifth on child marriages.

province recorded 61 cases of teenage pregnancies and 49 child marriages in
January and February alone.

In an
interview with TellZim News, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC)
provincial marketing and communications officer Herbert Chikosi said the
recordings were not shocking as the Covid-19 pandemic affected major
programming areas like education.

said his organization played a key role in containing the figures by bringing
sex education to the people during lockdown.

said the cases would have been much higher were it not for his organisation’s
concerted efforts through the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).

not really shocking because Covid-19 affected programming and key partners like
education which was greatly immobilised, thus creating a gap both in delivery
and sustenance against  fractured
community with limited information on CSE.

could have been even worse if it wasn’t for ZNFPC and the media which amplified
CSE information”, said Chikosi.

He said
parents’ lack of sex education was a cause of concern as they could not fill in
the role played by educators at school on issues to do with sexuality which
resulted in pregnancies.

lack of comprehensive sexuality education is also manifesting through these
pregnancies, however going forward we have invested in strengthening parent to
child communication”, said Chikosi.

Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) Masvingo provincial coordinator Belinda Mwale said
the Covid-19 induced lockdown contributed more to the teenage pregnancies and
child marriages due to idleness.

said it was imperative that Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Education (SRHRE)
reach young people.

“As women’s
coalition we strongly condemn the current state of affairs as it shows that the
lockdown has adversely affected teens.

minds contributed to immature sexual engagement and there is need to bridge the
gap in terms of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Education targeting
adolescent girls and young women,” said Mwale.

recorded 4 959 teenage pregnancies between January and February and 1 774 child
marriages between the same period.

teenage pregnancies, Mashonaland Central tops the list having recorded 4 475
teenage followed by Matebeleland South with 290 cases.

child marriages, Mashonaland Central also tops the list having recorded 1 436
cases followed by Mashonaland West with 85 cases and Midlands on third place
with 74.



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