Kabompo District Nursing Officer for Adolescent Health, Sondashi Bombwe says the health office is on course to implement programmes to help improve adolescent health (ADH) services in the district.
Mr Bombwe said that with support from Global Fund, 21peer educators have been trained in six health facilities in ADH services while 20 health care providers have also been oriented in ADH service provision.
Mr Bombwe said this in Kabompo during his presentation for the second quarter of the district adolescent health technical working group consultative meeting.
“With support from Global Fund, we have managed to train 21 peer educators in six facilities in ADH and also oriented 20 health care providers in ADH services,” Mr Bombwe said.
He further said the construction of two youth friendly spaces were initiated since July 2020 and have reached advanced levels as one is being constructed in Kabompo town and the other one in Mumbezhi.
“The two youth-friendly spaces which are now at an advanced stage are being constructed in high volume centers which are Kabompo central hospital and Mumbezhi rural health center to help reduce the burden of ADH services provision,” Mr Bombwe said.
He added that computers, furniture and sports equipment have been procured to be installed in the spaces as means to attract Adolescent to freely access health services in their spaces.
Mr Bombwe added that despite the many challenges surrounding the provision of ADH services the program has since shown signs of progress since the time peer educators and health care providers have been oriented.
“Despite the challenges we have seen an improvement in the service provision as well as improved reporting on ADH activities in the district,” he said.
Speaking at the same event Kabompo Acting District Health Director, Namukolo Siyolwe urged the technical working group members to ensure that they coordinate activities effectively as adolescent health provision is not a one man sector.
“ADH services is not a simple issue but a looming serious issue that requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders in and outside the technical working group,” Dr Siyolwe said.
He added that the facilities have so far recorded 1,237 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 24 and that 1,114 young people accessing family planning services.
Meanwhile, Kabompo District Administrative Officer, Hendrix Solochi encouraged the stakeholders to continue spreading the message of the available ADH services to allow young people be safe from unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and other unhealthy behavior.
“Let us continue preaching the message to our children so that they can make well informed decisions even in their sexuality to avoid future problems. Let us not seat on the information as our children now are more exposed to things that we never saw at our age, so embrace the times and let us help our today and tomorrow leaders,” Mr Solochi said.
Speaking earlier, Pokola primary school head teacher, Annie Kanchele attributed some of the risky behavior in the adolescent to poverty, illiteracy levels and bad traditional practices such as initiation ceremonies.
“Some of the factors that contribute to these issues are the existing bad traditional practices which promote children sleeping around after coming of age and holding of celebrations after a young person safely delivers after falling pregnant,” Mrs Kanchele said.
She therefore, called for further engagement of traditional leaders and parents in adolescent health issues to help reduce the disease burden in the surrounding communities.