Teen Pregnancies and Early Marriages Rear Ugly Head in Zim’s Farming Communities

IT’S a normal day inside Sable Ranch, a farming community at least 6 kilometers outside Marondera town in Mashonaland East province. Since its tobacco planting season, majority of labourers have been sent on a two-week long leave to give the tobacco plant enough time to grow. Just like their parents, school children at Ranch Farm and other surrounding farming communities are attending school just twice every week to adhere to government set COVID-19 prevention protocols. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Marondera, Mashonaland East While the adults have capitalized on the…

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Shamwari yeMwanasikana Responds To Health Minister’s Remarks On Access To SRH Services

Shamwari yeMwanasikana, a Non- Governmental Organization that provides support for and supports the empowerment and emancipation of the girl child in Zimbabwe has vowed to continue fighting for adolescents and girls to access  Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Services (SRHS) without any restrictions. By Staff Reporter The development comes at the back of media reports that the ministry of health had shot down a request by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS to have Section 35 of the country’s Public Health Act amended…

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Long Distance Exposes Bikita School Girls To Sugar Daddies And Unintended Pregnancies

HAZEL Tarungamiswa (17), a form 3 student at Rupare High School in Bikita walks 18 Kilometers to and from her village every day to attend school. By Michael Gwarisa in Bikita Every morning, she has to clean the plates and sweep the yard amongst other household chores before leaving for school. This has however resulted in her arriving late at school some days. To avoid getting late at school and getting caned for doings so, most girls end up catching free rides from strangers, in the process exposing themselves to…

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Drug Resistant Gonorrhea Stalks Zimbabwe- NAC

A rare type of Gonorrhea  which is most prevalent in South Africa has found its way into  Zimbabwe  at the back increased cross boarder activity and inter country travel by Zimbabweans, a top National Aids Council (NAC) official has said. By Michael Gwarisa Speaking during an Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (EMTC) workshop in Harare, NAC’s District Aids Coordinator (DAC) for Harare, Mrs Agnes Dembedza said even though Zimbabweans was doing well in terms of managing HIV infections, more Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) were still being recorded.…

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Disabled & HIV Positive Chiredzi 24-Year-Old Retired Sex Worker Speaks Out

RODHA (24) (real name protected) is a young girl living with a disability of the limbs. She has Locomotor Disability, a form of disability which affects the limbs and hinders one’s movement from point A to B. She has been walking on Clutches since she was a little girl.  In 2013, Rodha fled her rural home in Chivi where she lived with her uncle and his wife. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Chiredzi Despite her condition, she says her uncle would verbally and physically abuse her, accusing her of philandering…

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Zim A Level Girl Ventures Into Sex Work To Raise Tuition and University Funds

FOR 18-year-old Mercy (not real name), life took a twist soon after completing her Ordinary Level studies in 2018 in Chivhu. Having bagged 10 ‘O’ level subjects including Mathematics, English, and science subjects, Mercy enrolled for Advanced level at the same school she did her ‘O’ levels. By Michael Gwarisa After government announced closure of schools in March following confirmation of COVID-19 in the country, Mercy moved to Harare to live with her unemployed sister with the aim of raising fees for her final term as well as enroll for…

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Manicaland Records 8 000 New STI Cases

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…

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Sex Workers Using Cotton and Cloths to Prevent Pregnancies and STI

SEX workers are inserting cotton and cloths inside their private parts to prevent themselves from contracting sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, a practice that has been vehemently condemned by sexual reproductive health experts. By Michael Gwarisa Speaking at a gathering for Sex Workers this morning in Strataven, Harare, sex workers confirmed that they insert fabrics inside their vaginas to prevent them from falling pregnant as the material sucks in semen in the event of a condom bursting or when they meet clients who demand unprotected sex. “I joined sex…

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Moonlight Testing Effective Tool In HIV Hotspots

PEOPLE  coming for HIV, Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and cervical cancer screening services during moonlight testing sessions are more compared to those who seek Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services during the day at major hotspots in Mashonaland East. By Michael Gwarisa in Mash East The program is dubbed moonlight because the tests take place at night to help protect those who fear being stigmatised by being seen visiting the centres during the day. According to the National Aids Council District Aids Office for Mrehwa, the open air daylight session at…

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Katswe launches anti AIDS campaign

By Daniel Chigundu PRO-Women rights group Katswe Sistahood says it is launching the “Staying negative campaign” which is aimed at helping girls in marginalised areas protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and related diseases. The 30-day campaign which comes just a month before the commemoration of the Day of the African Child is also seeking to interrogate why HIV prevalence rate is higher for girls compared to the boy child. In a statement Katswe said there have been so many speeches about protecting girls adding that it was now it’s time for…

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