The COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on communities in Chipinge with a high number of young girls falling pregnant due to idleness as schools were closed for the better part of 2020 and 2021.
By Cheriel Dzobo
Following the outbreak of the airborne disease, government instituted lockdown measures which saw schools closing for the better part of 2020 and this year.
The lockdowns have resulted in an increase in the number of early early marriages, illegal abortions as young girls engaged in sexual activities.
“It is very sad that our communities are recording a high number of teenage pregnancies as a result of the Covid-19 induced lockdown. We are convinced that the cause of these teen pregnancies is the fact that most children found themselves with nothing to do and out of peer pressure they got involved into sexual activities. There is need for these teenagers to be educated on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and they should have access to contraceptives so that they do not ruin their future,” said Mrs Sithole, community health worker in Chipinge South.
She called on parents to be educated on sexual and reproductive health so that they do not act as a barrier to children getting contraceptives.
“Children should be encouraged to use protection when having intercourse, also it is important to make the contraceptives available to these teenagers,” added Sithole.
Another Chipinge South resident who spoke on condition of anonymity called for child friendly centres to be increased so that these children can get access to sexual and reproductive health education as well as contraceptives when they need them.
“Parents should play there duty in grooming children. Charity begins at home, it is the duty of everyone to counsel or control these teenagers. Communities and community based organisations should work together in helping these children,” she said.