ZIMBABWE will tomorrow be presenting new commitments to the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) summit in Kenya, Nairobi amidst indications that the country is amongst the few countries which have excelled in advancing Sexual Reproductive Health services to young women and girls in line with international trends.
By Michael Gwarisa in Nairobi, Kenya
In 1994, more than 179 governments converged in Cairo, Egypt where they committed to advance quality sexual reproductive health services and population development in line with modern day needs.
In an interview on the side-lines of the ongoing ICPD Summit in Nairobi, Director Family Health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr Benard Madzima said Zimbabwe had stepped up SRH efforts and service provision since 1994.
Our program which is under the family health program is quite vibrant and has been going on for years. However, over the years, there has been a revision of issues which are being targeted and at the moment just like other countries, following regional protocols and international protocols, Zimbabwe program has really embraced all the components of sexual reproductive health.
“Some of the programs include the HIV program itself, the issue of family planning service provision, you can go even further and look at Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Climate Change. So our program is following the international trends in terms of maturing and expanding. I would say Zimbabwe is on track is embracing what is happening here,” said Dr Madzima.
He added that other programs the family health program has incorporated include research, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender Mainstreaming (M&E) and rights other programs beyond the SRHR program.
“The issue of rights which is still grey in Zimbabwe because we are looking at issues like the age of consent to service provision, age of consent to medical interventions and aligning our laws to make sure we don’t have grey areas so that some groups don’t fall by the wayside especially the young adolescents.
“We get guidance from the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on health programs. The idea is to then go down to regional levels that is the African Union and SADC, then go to country level. We normally get guidance from those organisations, but at the end of the day, even if you have a document where minister of health meet, you the go to country level to do consultations on what is culturally and even religiously acceptable,” said Dr Madzima.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be presenting its commitments to the ICPD tomorrow afternoon as it seeks to align its new health needs with the demands of the day.
“Our new commitments are informed by the global commitments. What we did was to look at the global commitments and try to customise them according to the Zimbabwean context. So Climate change is one them and yes, it will look and incorporate Climate Change,” added Dr Madzima.