CIVIL Society organisations (CSOs) have called for the expeditious removal of legal barriers to access of Sexual, Reproductive and Health Services (SRH) for all ages so as to curb unwanted teenage pregnancies, STIs and HIV infection among young girls.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
At a Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre (HIFC) and Compass Zimbabwe jointly organized workshop, it emerged health workers and pharmacists offer unsolicited counselling to adolescents seeking sexual and reproductive health services.
So the issue that is there is that nurses, pharmacists should cease being mothers, fathers, aunts, grandmothers or uncles when they are giving reproductive health services,” said Compass Project leader Munya Chiwara.
He added that the law must promote accurate and balanced sex education including information about sexuality and reproductive health as a basic human right for adolescent boys and girls.
“Such education develops healthy relationships and help them avoid unwanted pregnancies, STIs. As the education is enhanced, among this age group, young people are then allowed to make informed decisions.
“So it is our objective within our campaign codenamed Age of Consent To Access to reconsider policies on the requirement for consent to access, to promote effective reproductive health access, by adolescents and minors while maintaining a balance with parental consent and sufficient legal protection when accessing reproductive health services,” he said.
He said when Parliament resumes, Compass with take their position paper on Age of Consent on Access to Reproductive Health Services.
Zimbabwe Young Positives, an organisation for young people living with HIV stated that adolescents endure nurses with a negative attitude when they seek for family planning services. The nurses in loud voices would say, “Eh look what we have got here. She has come to get family planning services yet she is HIV positive
She said there should be an uncapping of the age limit for access to health services.