Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) youth-friendly health services coordinator Maness Segula says Bangwe Health Centre has registered the highest number of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) cases among youths in Blantyre City.
She said this on Saturday during the district’s stakeholders advocacy meeting that Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement (Ayise) organised under Southern Africa HIV and Aids Information Dissemination Services (SafAids) Transforming Lives Project.
The official said with 105 youths diagnosed with STIs last month, the centre has topped the list of 23 youth-friendly health facilities in the commercial city, which has 32 health centres. Ndirande Health Centre has the second highest number at 92.
Segula said the high number of STI cases in Bangwe could be attributed to reckless sexual activities in the township.
“It is sad that the youth continue to engage in unprotected sex despite knowing its consequences such as teenage pregnancies, STIs and HIV and Aids.”
Ayise executive director Marcel Chisi, who facilitated the meeting, blamed poverty on reckless behaviour among youths.
He said: “We have noted that there are some girls that tried their best to abstain, but poverty forced them to indulge in sexual activities.
“We, therefore, urge health workers, community leaders and youths to discuss how we can accelerate adolescents’ access to sexual reproductive health services.”
Bangwe Nthandizi ward councillor Isaac Jomo Osman said plans are underway to put in place by-laws that will reduce sexual activities involving young people.