MANICALNAD recorded close to 8 000 new cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) among young youths between January and February this year, statistics have revealed.
The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) availed the statistics at the first quarter adolescent reproductive health forum held held in Mutare recently.
A total of 7 989 new cases were recorded in the province. In an interview with The Herald, ZNFPC Mnanicaland provincial manager, Mr Dryson Masvingise, said Mutare, Mutasa, Chipinge and Makoni districts recorded the highest number of new urethra discharge infections among the youths, a situation he attributed to misinformation.
“Statistics have shown that in the whole province, the rate of new infections recorded among the youths between January and February is disturbingly high, with urethra discharge being recorded as the highest infection across all districts in the province,” he said.
Most of these infections have been attributed to lack of information on proper use of protective methods, liberation from cultural boundaries and unemployment among other contributors.
“The improper use of condoms and other contraceptives is seriously coming into play when new sexually transmitted infections are mentioned,” said Masvingise.
Young adults, especially those in tertiary institutions are more concerned about not getting pregnant rather than being concerned about their health and HIV status.
“This has resulted in emergency contraceptives being used in place of condoms that protect them from contracting some of these infections.”
Masvingise noted that women were capable of being carriers of certain infections without being affected, resulting in them infecting their partners unknowingly.
“Up to 70 percent of women have the capacity to be carriers of the urethra discharge infection and unknowingly passing it on to their partners resulting in increased new infections,” he said.
This in effect explains the high number of urethra discharge infections being recorded in the four districts of Chipinge, Makoni, Mutare and Mutasa.”
Masvingise said there was need for continued engagement of people, particularity the youths, in terms of information dissemination and condom distribution.
“People, need to continuously be engaged in sexual reproductive health information sessions and distribution sessions and the distribution of condoms.
“It is however not enough to just vigorously distribute condoms without without engaging the youths and teaching them to use them properly and educating them on other contraceptives methods as well.”
SOURCE: THE HERALD