Plan International Zambia has urged government to consider finding immediate interventions to address dangers girl children undergo in weekly boarding facilities in Katete District in Eastern province.
Plan International Resources person in Katete, Victoria Phiri, although government has recently been upgrading some primary schools to secondary schools in its effort to reduce distances in accessing education, the effort has not yielded the desired results as a good number of children especially girl children were still subjected to unprotected weekly boarding facilities.
Mrs . Phiri explains that many boys and girls are renting small houses in compounds a situation that exposes them to bad behaviors and sexual exploitation as they have no ‘ guardians’ to protect them.
ZANIS reports from Katete that the Plan International Resources person says it is sad to see the high number of abortions and sexually transmitted diseases the district is recording.
She was speaking during a presentation on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights meeting at Pangani Lodge.
Mrs. Phiri said it is time government allowed distribution of condoms in schools and contraceptives as denying pupils access to such services will only increases their vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
“ It is undeniable that some of the pupils in schools are old enough to access such services . Pupils on the re-entry policy are such victims of what could have been prevented in most cases,” she said.
She pointed out that many girls have engaged into sex acts which leaves them with no chance of negotiating for safer sex.
Mrs. Phiri has however urged parents to take keen interest in their children’s lives and guide them into being responsible members of society.
Parents with children in weekly boarding facilities should take time to routinely check on their children and ensure that they encourage their children to live within their family needs capacity, she advised.
She observed that some pupils have gone gone wild in compounds to look for men to buy them items and food staff that their families cannot afford a situation that she describes as saddening.
And Plan International Chipata project member Suzyo Soko has urged government and its partners in the district to ensure that they create and support youth friendly centers.
Mr. Soko said there is need to have Youth friendly Centres in the district that can be used by young people to access information about their sexual reproductive Health rights and give them a chance to easily access health services once in need without fear of other members of the community.
Many young people shun from accessing health services once they have contracted some diseases for fear of being stigmatized or reprimanded by personal found in health facilities without realizing that it is their right to enjoy such health services, he said.
Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Project is in Katete to help promote protection of the child in its quest to enjoy its rights to education and health among others.
The increase in the number of sexually related cases recorded in the country which has placed eastern province on 62 percent , which has made the organisation to suggest that government and all its partners need to strengthen efforts towards addressing issues affecting youths in sexuality reproductive health rights.
Plan international project in Katete it is expected to ensure that more youths will access to reproductive health rights information which will cause them to make right decisions for their lives.