Youths in Rumphi have bemoaned a tendency by some parents to deny their children access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services.
Barwe Youth Club secretary Shupe Gondwe said this on Monday when Chikulamayembe Women Forum organised a sensitisation meeting to raise awareness on SRH services.
She said many young people in the district are afraid of accessing the SRH because their parents do not allow them.
Gondwe observed that the situation is threatening the lives of young people as they risk contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and getting pregnant early.
She said most of the teen pregnancies and early marriages in the area are as the result of parents’ rigid stand against SRH.
“We need to know about physical changes in our bodies as we are growing up, but we cannot because parents do not open up. As a result, we end up being impregnated early,” she added.
Senior group village head Bwati admitted that most parents are reluctant to allow their children access SRH services because culture does not allow them to discuss sexual matters openly with their children.
He said there is need for mindset change for them to be abreast of current developments. n