Karonga District Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) Coordinator Davis Chelewani has expressed concern over a low uptake of family planning services by youths saying the vice is fuelling teenage pregnancies in the district.
The call was made recently in the district at a refresher training on pure education on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) at mwangulukulu CBCC in the area of Traditional Authority Mwakaboko that Pamoza tingakwaniska Youth Organization, organized for youths in the area.
In an interview Chelewani, said the low uptake of family planning methods among youths in Karonga was worrisome considering the high rates of teenage pregnancies.
He further said a range of factors are contributing to the low contraceptive prevalence rate in the district citing among them limited
Comprehensive sexuality education and myths and misconception surrounding the use of family planning methods.
“As a district indeed we are really concerned with the low uptake of contraceptives among our youths which is contributing to increase teen pregnancies but we believe with continued education and sensitization on the matter will reverse this trend,” he said.
Adding that inadequacy of the trained providers has also affected quality service delivery to the youths across the health facilities as a result most young people especially in the rural areas shun away from services such as HIV testing and counselling.
Chairperson for Kabaghe Youth Club in Karonga Kenneth Lazeck, said a lack of knowledge and information as the main reason why youths shun away from family planning methods saying the orientation has enlightened them on issues of SRHR hence feel empowered and educated on the same.
On her part Programs Manager for Pamoza Tingakwaniska Gomezani Mhango, pointed out that myths and misconception on SRHR was a hindering block to the low uptake of contraceptives by youths in Karonga.
She stressed the need of imparting knowledge and empowering young people especially girls on SRHR as it is key in preventing unwanted teen pregnancies.
“Through this project we hope to increase awareness of promoting youth friendly SRHR services to all youths and to enhance collaboration between youths and community leaders and parents as we feel openness is vital in seeking information in SRHR,” Said Mhango.
Pamoza Tingakwaniska is implementing Fiska Ulato project in areas of Traditional Authority Mwilang’ombe and Mwakaboko with funding from Breuckmann Foundation Germany.