Mwanza District Hospital youth-friendlyt health services coordinator Tadala Chisale has urged youths to seek Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services at health facilities and designated outreach clinics to prevent early pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Chisale said this on Friday during SRH open day at Ziyaya Village in the area of Senior Chief Kanduku in the district.
She bemoaned that some parents were stopping their children from accessing the services on pretext that they would be encouraged to indulge in promiscuity.
“Some youth fail to access services as they are not allowed by their parents or guardians and sometimes traditional leaders due to cultural beliefs and myths,” Chisale said.
She said as one way of enhancing accessibility of the services the district health office conducts outreach clinics in rural areas twice a week.
A 23-year-old secondary school dropout Annie Gondwa from Chithumbwi Village in the area refuted allegations that the youth who take contraceptives or use condoms are prostitutes.
“Taking contraceptives or use of condoms does not make one a prostitute; rather, that the person knows that that is the way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STIs that can affect their education,” Gondwa said.
Director of Planning and Development for Mwanza District Council Edgar Chihana asked traditional leaders, parents and guardians to allow their children to join youth clubs to increase knowledge on SRH.
“Let them discuss freely with SRH experts in youth clubs issues they fail to get answers from you because they feel shy to ask you,” said Chihana who was also guest of honour at the function.
He then commended the district health office and Save the Children for organising such events saying they assist to address SRH and rights related issues in the district.