OVER 450 000 women obtained contraceptive services from Population Services Zimbabwe (PSZ) in 2018.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
This was said by PSZ Country Director Mr Abebe Shibru at the official opening of their clinic in Epworth on Thursday.
“In the year 2018 alone, more than 450 000 women received a contraceptive services provided by Population Services Zimbabwe,” he said.
He however bemoaned the large gap in undeserved and unmet need.
Access to Long Acting And Permanent Methods (LAPMs) is still very limited nationwide and represents just 11 percent of the Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) total signaling lack of contraceptive choice.
“As such the partnership with the Swedish international development agency will go a long way in bridging this gap,” said Mr Shibru.
Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo while officiating the opening of the PSZ clinic commended the organisation for bringing sexual reproductive health services to the Epworth community.
“In Chitungwiza there are two such clinics and its great they decided to have one here in Epworth. The majority of people in Epworth ended up at Chitungwiza for the central hospital service and other medical issues. So we are very happy as a ministry that there is this distribution of health facilities. And I am so happy that this is not just a centre for vasectomies but it’s also an integrated clinic. Which makes a big difference. Someone can walk in here. They can have their BPs checked. They can have any other forms of curative measures being attended to here. So that is very good. Its an integrated clinic,” Dr Moyo said.
“Today we are gathered to celebrate a new dawn for the Epworth community. This new dawn comes in the form of high quality sexual and reproductive health care. Which of course includes family planning and other primary healthcare services right at the doorsteps. And this work is one of the fruits from the PSZ project as a strategic partner for the Zimbabwe ministry of health and child care and supported by the embassy of Sweden.”
Dr Moyo added, “One such commitment was to increase the modern contraceptive rate from 59 percent to 68 percent by 2020. And I am happy to let you know that as government we have made great strides in this regard due to the immense contribution from various development partners and stakeholders including PSZ. The government of Zimbabwe through its parastatal sectoral offices such as ZNPFC and partners continues to work hard to ensure the reliable supply of family planning commodities.”
Swedish Embassy Chargé d’affairs and Head of Development Cooperation , Ms Mette Sunnergren said they are committed to increase access to Sexual Reproductive health and rights in Zimbabwe.
“The Swedish embassy here in Zimbabwe is committed to increase access to and respect for sexual reproductive health and rights. And we are all pleased to join the Ministry of Health and Child Care and PSZ in celebrating the opening of this model clinic here today. We all know how vital family health services are vital for individuals, families, communities but also for the nation and for the wellbeing of the current and future generation.
“Sweden has partnered with PSZ on this venture to provide family health services including long acting and reversible and permanent methods. Sweden has a special emphasis on the health of women and girls and we trust this clinic will focus on equality and addressing vulnerable population,” said Ms Sunnegren.
Ms Sunnergren added that the clinic should champion destigmatisation of family health services.
“It is our wish that clinic evolves and becomes an epicentre of good practice in addressing issues of stigma associated with the access to the broad range of family health services,” she said.
The clinic also comes with a youth hub which has free wifi for young people in Epworth.
“We are also excited that the clinic will house a youth hub to encourage young people to adopt responsible attitudes towards contraception and sexuality,” said Ms Sunnergren.
The Epworth Clinic is the 11th in Zimbabwe and the organisation expectsto deliver health services to an average of 20 000women yearly.
PSZ through its Swedish partnership seeks to support at least 50 rural health facilities to offer high quality Long Acting and Reversible Methods and youth friendly services.