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» » » Discuss sexual and reproductive health matters openly, Midlands youths told

Tinaani Nyabereka

GWERU-Youths and Stakeholders in the Midlands have been urged to openly engage and deliberate on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) education as most youths were being exposed to sexual transmitted infections treatment (STIs) due to fear.

Addressing youths and stakeholders who attended the Midlands Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) Youth Summit hosted by the Zimbabwe Professional Nurse Union (ZPNU) last Saturday, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) Executive Director Selipiwe Conerlia said it was important to open up and engage with youths on sexual reproductive health matters

"Let’s acknowledge it, youths are indulging in sex and quite a number have been affected by sexual related infections silently due to unprotected sexual activities. Let's talk to our children as guardians because they are venturing into these things unknowingly. Some do not even know the implications ahead.

"As a residents representatives we believe that a healthy resident helps in building a health community and as youths you are part of the community and without healthy youths our tomorrow is doomed," added Conerlia.

Youth Essence (YE) Director, Nobuhle Mahlahla urged youths to not engage in drug abuse, which also affects their health.

"Youths encounter lots of challenges socially and economically but despite these challenges, let me tell you that drugs are not the solution. Rather they lead to absolute poverty, poor judgment and lost opportunities,” Mahlahla said.

Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) lecturer and health practitioner Tsitsi Panganai said sensitization workshops on STIs, HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health must be conducted vigorously across the nation.

"As stakeholders, leaders and guardians let's map out effective strategies to help young people and educate them. To the youths, let’s use the internet for developmental purposes because its wrong use has led to challenges which most youths are facing today," Panganai said.

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