United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports will on Friday hold a Condomize Campaign at Mzuzu University to sensitize the youth in public and private colleges in the country to practice safer sex by using condoms correctly and consistently.
Speaking in the northen City of Mzuzu during a media orientation on the campaign, UNFPA Senior HIV and Aids Technical Advisor Bidia Deperthes said that not much has been done in universities and yet students are sexually active and are at risk of contracting HIV and .as well as become victims of early pregnancies.
“We want young people to have adequate knowledge to prevent HIV infections, early and unplanned pregnancies,” she said.
In 2010,a daily newspaper reported that Chancellor college one of the constituent college of the University of Malawi had registered 30 cases of unplanned pregnancies among first year students in one academic year.
The campaign will ensure that young people in the colleges are protected to ensure that they are free from HIV/AIDS and other problems that come due to unprotected sex.
Secretary for Youth, Sports and Culture Justin Saidi said the campaign which will be upscaled and replicated in youth programes will ensure that young people are safe from HIV and Aids and early pregnancies and become fully in charge of the development of the nation.
“Through this campaign, we would like to have a healthy and productive generations of young people that are better equipped to contribute to the development of their communities and the nation as a whole,” he said.
According to 2010 Demographic Health Survey (DHS), condom use among young people is very low in the country. This has contributed to high HIV prevalence and fertility rates among the youth. HIV prevalence among adolescents and young people between the ages of 14 and 24 is at 6.4 per cent and adolescent birth rate is at 152 per 1000 live births.
Apart from Mzuzu University, the campaign will be taken to College of Medicine where several constituent colleges will gather like the polytechnic, Kamuzu College of Nursing, Malawi college of Health Sciences, Malawi College of Accountancy and Blantyre International University (BIU).