Zimbabwe records 70 000 illegal abortions per year and a third of girls get married before they reach the age of 18.
This was said by Senator Morgan Femayi, the chairperson of the HIV and Aids thematic committee in the Senate during a public meeting held at Mkoba Hall in Mkoba Village Two suburb in Gweru recently.
The HIV and Aids thematic committee and other committees wanted to get the views of members of the public on the issue of allowing children aged 12 years and above access to contraceptives. Senator Femayi said:
One in every three girls marries before the age of 18. We have 70 000 illegal abortions per year in the country and high school drop out. Girls below the age of 19 account for 15 per cent of the maternal mortality rate.
Therefore, the petitioner’s plea to Parliament is that there should be no restrictions in accessing health care by persons from the age of 12 or those below the age of 18 and that includes access to contraceptives and other health care matters.
Munyaradzi Chingwara, a counsellor, said parents or guardians should not bury their heads in the sand and pretend that children from the age of 12 were not having sex, because they are.
Chingwara said in 2016 alone, 4 500 girls failed to proceed to secondary education after falling pregnant.
He implored authorities to remove age restrictions to accessing health care services, saying reproductive health shouldn’t have restrictions so that there is universal access to health care services for all including children.
Source | Chronicle