The Sunday Mail
FIRST Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangangwa, has implored stakeholders in the education sector to empower children at primary education level with information on sexuality in order to curb early and unintended pregnancies.
Amai Mnangagwa said primary school is the optimal point to reach adolescents of between 10-14 years who needed to be educated about pregnancy and its prevention before they become sexually active or forced into marriage soon after puberty.
“We need to use education as a tool for pregnancy prevention by making sure that all young people have access to comprehensive sexuality education, to help them abstain, delay sexual activities, negotiate for safer sex, among other protective skills and behaviour,” she said.
Amai Mnangagwa was speaking at Makomo Primary School in Epworth where she, as the guest of honour, launched the Let’s Talk Campaign.
Let’s Talk is a campaign spearheaded by Unesco which came out of an Eastern and Southern Africa commitment signed by Ministers of Health and Education from 21 countries in the region in 2013.
The campaign aims to scale up comprehensive sexuality education and sexual reproductive health services for adolescents and young people following the realisation that the region has one of the highest adolescent fertility rates in the world.
Eastern and Southern Africa ministers committed to work towards eliminating all new HIV infections among adolescents and young people, increase to 95 percent the number of adolescents and young people who demonstrate comprehensive HIV prevention knowledge, reduce early and unintended pregnancies among young people by 75 percent and eliminate gender-based violence and child marriage by 2020.
The regional launch of the campaign was held on July 31 with similar launches subsequently following at country level.
Amai Mnangagwa said it was a sobering fact that an early and unintended pregnancy is a national health, social problem and a development challenge.
She, however, noted that Government had formulated policies and laws aimed at responding to the challenge.
“Some of these policies and laws include the Marriage Act, School Re-entry Policy, Non-Formal Education Policy and the Sexual Offences Act,” added Amai Mnangagwa.
The campaign draws its objectives from Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4 and 5 which aim to ensure good health and well-being, quality education and gender equality respectively.
The launch was also attended by Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo as well as his Primary and Education counterpart, Paul Mavhima.