Village headman, 59 distributes condoms to enhance SRH uptake

Mzimba, November 9, Mana: Village head Kayipumule Saka from the area of traditional authority Mzukuzuku in Mzimba has described sexual and reproductive health services as a key driver in the development of the country.

This came to light during a media visit to Champhira, Mabiri and Kafukule where Norwegian Church Aid and Dan church Aid are implementing N’zatonse project whose key component is sexual and reproductive health rights access in the community through All Churches Together (Act Alliance).

Saka who is also board Chairperson for Champhira Youth Resource Centre said through the N’zatonse project traditional leaders have been made aware of the dangers of paying a blind eye to sexual and reproductive health rights issues.

“Of course we have always known that our children engage in sex. The only challenge was that we would not tell whether they were engaging in unprotected sex or not since it was deemed a taboo for a parent to talk about sexual and reproductive health issues with their children.

“However, the project has broken that barrier and parents in my area are now encouraged to openly talk about such issues with their children. I personally help in distributing condoms at the Centre to ensure that our youth practice safe sex to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections so that they may stay in school,” he said.

Saka: SRHR is key to development

He further said that his village has come up with bylaws that also encourage married men to take interest in their expectant wife interests by accompanying them to health facilities for antenatal care.

He further said they are encouraging men to have children they can afford to take care of adding that girls also encouraged to stay in school as only educated people can develop their communities.

On his part Reverend Medson Mushani of Mabiri CCAP Church who is also the chairperson for Church Network Committee at the Centre under the same project said it has brought together different stakeholders for benefit of their community.

Programmes officer for N’zatonse project under Livingstonia Synod of CCAP, Chawanangwa Kwaole said through the project defilement cases in the area have been reduced.

He said even some churches are able to talk about SRHS with their members openly.

Mabiri Youth Resource Centre Coordinator Dalitso Dube said the centre runs several other initiatives aimed at protecting girl child including a netball clinic where girls play netball.

He further said sexual harassment and child neglect are the common these challenges child are facing in the area adding that; “some parents fail to provide their children with school needs.”

N’zatonse project which is currently in phase four has built youth Resource Centres at Mabiri and Champhira among others with the aim of providing the youth with space to tackle issues that affect them and also for recreational purposes.

The project is being funded by KFW from Germany through Norwegian Church Aid and Danish Church Aid.

It is currently being implemented in Rumphi, Mzimba, Ntcheu, Ntchisi, Thyolo and Blantyre.Mana

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