Mwanza District Hospital youth-friendly health services coordinator Tadala Chisale has urged youths to seek sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in health facilities and designated outreach clinics to prevent early pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Chisale said this on Friday during an SRH open day at Ziyaya Village in Senior Chief Kanduku’s area.
She bemoaned that some parents were stopping their children from accessing the services.
“Some youths fail to access services as they are not allowed by their parents or guardians and sometimes traditional leaders due to cultural beliefs and myths,” said Chisale.
A 23-year-old secondary school dropout, Annie Gondwa from Chithumbwi Village in the area, refuted allegations that the youth who take contraceptives are wayward.
“Taking contraceptives does not make one a prostitute; rather, it shows the person knows ways of avoiding unwanted pregnancies and STIs,” she said.
Mwanza District Council director of planning and development Edgar Chihana asked traditional leaders, parents and guardians to allow children to join youth clubs to increase their knowledge on SRH.
“Let them discuss freely with SRH experts in youth clubs issues they fail to get answers from you [parents] because they feel shy to ask you,” he said.
Chihana then commended the district health office and Save the Children for organising the event, saying they helped to address SRH issues in the district.