Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo has reiterated government’s commitment on universal sexual reproductive health coverage for adolescents including those living with disabilities across the country.
Ms. Masebo says government has introduced sign language in nursing and midwifery schools to ensure provision of health services in a much more confidential manner for young people living with disabilities to access information on sexual reproductive health.
The minister said this in Lusaka today when she officiated at Tikambe National Dialogue attended by young people from Kabwe and Lusaka.
Ms Masebo said the translation of selected information, education and communication materials into sign language and braille will soon be distributed around the country.
“We are also translating selected information, education and communication materials into sign language and Braille, which will soon be distributed to the Deaf communities and also around health facilities. We also have plans as a ministry to build ramps in all health facilities to enhance accessibility by people with physical disabilities,” she said.
And Restless Development Zambia Executive Director, Chanda Chisenga noted with concern that many young people in Zambia lack access to information on sexual reproductive health which lands them in unsafe and dangerous practices.
Ms. Chisenga said the inadequate provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services and education in Zambia has in many cases resulted in high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies.
She said this destroys young people’s lives and increases school dropouts, impacting negatively on their mental, physical and economic health.
“Zambia has been implementing comprehensive sexuality education. However, there is no realistic plan to reach out to groups of young people with different vulnerabilities. It is against this background that we are committed to increasing access to sexual and reproductive health services and information for young people,’’ she said.