By Wimbainashe Zhakata
Manicaland has maintained the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the country despite having a high number of teenage pregnancies and polygamous marriages, an official has said.
Speaking at the fourth quarter family planning forum that was held in Mutare recently, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) provincial manager Mr Dyson Masvingise said the use of family planning methods in the province was low.
“Most of the family planning aspects in Manicaland are negative. We have high teenage pregnancies, high polygamous rate, high unmet need (number of people who do not use contraceptives at all) among others. However, it is surprising that our province has the lowest HIV prevalence rate in Zimbabwe despite all this,” he said.
He said stakeholders in the health sector should work on increasing the use of family planning.
“We should all work towards driving this one goal. Let us work to guide the nation in the provision and coordination of quality family planning and related sexual reproductive health services for the period 2016-2020 together,” said Mr Masvingise.
Mr Masvingise said areas that recorded the lowest uptake of contraceptives in the period under review were Chimanimani, Mutare Urban and Nyanga districts
“Low uptake is still noticed in Chimanimani, Mutare Urban and Nyanga districts while Mutare Urban and Nyanga had the least uptake on female condoms,” he said.
He said there was need for increased access to accurate information on safe and effective methods of family planning to reduce high teenage pregnancies and high unmet needs, among other negative factors.
“To maintain one’s sexual and reproductive health, people need access to accurate information on the safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception method of their choice. They must be informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections,” he said
“Operating within the provincial budget, the province will continue to facilitate and co-ordinate the provision of quality sexual and reproductive health services so that the Manicaland populace enjoys affordable and safe sexual reproductive health.” The Herald