By Emily Kaliwo
Chiradzulu, October 15, Mana: Chiradzulu district Condom Coordinator, Symon Mwizawaka has said lack of knowledge on use of condoms among youths is fueling HIV transmission, unplanned and early pregnancies.
Speaking on Wednesday during the District Aids Coordinating Committee (DACC) review meeting, Mwizawaka said high rate of pregnancies among learners during Covid-19 pandemic school break showed that youths were not using condoms to protect themselves.
“Had it been that they were having protected sex we would have been talking of a different story now. We have to know that not only early pregnancies are dangerous, we should also think of sexually transmitted infections and not all of them are HIV negative,” he said.
He further said as a way of easing access of condoms by youths all Community Based Organizations (CBOs) will be given condoms through his office so that the youth can access them near their homes especially those that stay far from health facilities.
He added that some youths will be accessing them through youth clubs as they feel shy to get condoms at health facilities.
During the meeting it was also proposed that condoms should be distributed in schools so that learners can easily access them.
The District Aids Coordinator, Loveness Chikumba said school policies do not allow that, but learners should be encouraged to access condoms through youth clubs, CBOs and health facilities adding that learners access health information through life skills subject, but they choose not to follow.
Religious leaders were then urged to spread the message and if they find it hard for them, they should invite health workers to do it.
Chiradzulu registered 380 pregnancies from March to July and 48 boys got married. As of September 2020 the district has had 16,318 HIV cases recorded and 1,374 people have died of HIV and Aids related diseases.