Acting United Nations resident coordinator Eddie Rowe has expressed concern over Zimbabwe’s challenges he country still faces challenge on maternal mortality, HIV, teenage pregnancy & limited opportunities to young people.
Rowe said this while addressing guests and the media at the UNFPA report launch yesterday evening in the capital.
However, chief director of Finance and Economic Development, Taguma Mahonde concurred before confirming that there has been a sharp increase in maternal mortality among young girls.
The speech by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, revealed a number challenges the country is facing.
Some of the challenges include high rates of early marriage (31% married before the age of 18) and high rates of teenage pregnancy especially among girls residing in the rural areas (nearly 1 in 10 aged 15-19 gives birth every year).
There has also been an increase in school drop outs at secondary level by 25% in Zimbabwe.
“The government of Zimbabwe is committed to addressing these challenges through increased domestic funding to the health and social sectors,” said the Minister.
Acting UN resident coordinator, World Food Programme representatives commended UNFPA for fruitful 50 years of working hard to reach out to young people and women with essential sexual reproductive health services.
The out reach has helped women to be able to make decisions in life for example how to get contraceptives, minimizing deaths when giving birth, whom and when to marry as well as when to start having children.
Since then, women have made enormous progress in exercising their reproductive rights. Activists, advocates, public health specialists and many others have pushed relentlessly for the transformations as evidenced today.
Since the establishment of the UNFPA in 1969, much has been accomplished. But there is still more to be done before all women and girls are able to exercise their rights.
Zimbabwe is working towards the right direction as most women can now access family planning services and also having choices on whom to marry and the number of children they want to have.