Salima District Council has handed over a structure to host youth-friendly services to Chagunda communities in Traditional Authority Kambwiri in the district.
Speaking on Monday during the handover, Salima District Council chairperson Esther Soko said the structure will help youths access youth-friendly health services.
She said many young people in the district fail to access sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services from health facilities.
“As a result, the youth ended up finding their own means of getting SRH services, thereby risking their lives,” she said.
In her remarks, Salima District Hospital youth-friendly health services coordinator Mirriam Dzinkambani said the district registers many teen pregnancies because young people have challenges accessing SRH services.
She also said there is communication breakdown between parents and their children on SRH issues as some parents feel that it is a taboo to talk about SRH issues.
“That is why United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA] is implementing Improving Access to and Provision of Youth Friendly Health Services project in the district,” said Dzimkambani.
The centre will provide services such as HIV counselling and testing, indoor games and SRH, among others.
Salima District Council in partnership with three United Nations agencies UNFPA, United Nations Children’s Fund and World Food Programme is implementing a Joint Programme on Girls Education with support from Norway that seeks to reduce poverty by improving education quality and promoting girls’ education.