Inadequate information about HIV and AIDS, Sexual Reproductive Health and other health related issues is contributing to the spread of HIV among the youth in Ntcheu district.
HIV prevalence rate for Ntcheu district alone according to National Aids Commission (NAC) is 12.5% which is much higher than the national rate.
It is against this background that Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) with funding from UNICEF is implementing a three year project whose aim is to equip the youth with adequate information on HIV and AIDS, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH&R) and other Health related issues through the use of Information Communication Technology (IT).
The project which is called Adolescent and Youth Power in Responding to Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV and AIDS through ICT (AYPRA). The project procured computers and internet facilities so that young people of 10 to 19 years are able to access SRH&R information through Face book, WhatsAPP, and Twitter among others.
Raphael Yohane 18, who is one of the beneficially of the project told Nyasa Times that the coming in of the project has helped him to have the right information on SRH&R.
“These days Am able to search for the right information on the computer on any health related issues be it on Face book, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google among others,” said Raphael.
He further said that in the past everything was a misconception about issues on HIV and a lot of young people contracted the Virus as such most of them have lost their lives. Raphael who is also a form one student said he is doing fine at school when it comes to Biology subject.
Commenting on the project, Mrs. Sewenthe Chipofya who is YONECO’s District Manager for Ntcheu said the project goal is to have empowered and informed adolescents and young people that have access to sexual and reproductive health services and information through ICT at community and national levels.
Chipofya further said the project will promote youth and adolescent participation in HIV response and getting their opinions on issues that affect their vulnerability and risk to HIV, and their ability to mitigate AIDS impact at individual and community level.
“We want to increase HIV comprehensive knowledge among adolescents and young people through individualized two-way; interactive models using ICT as a tool. So far about 1,500 young people have benefited from the project since its inception a year ago,” said Chipofya.
The District Manager also said apart from searching for information, the Drop in Centre also provides free computer lessons. “Most of these young people were computer illiterate when they were coming but today some of them have become computer wizards,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :