An NGO called Medicines Research and Access Platform (MEDRAP) says it is pleased with the progress made by the Government in ensuring availability and access to Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) in Luapula and Southern provinces.
According to the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, adolescent pregnancy and child marriage has significantly been high in the two regions with Southern province recording teenage pregnancy rates as high as 42.5% while Luapula posted 21%.
MEDRAP Executive Director Liyoka Liyoka said a recent study conducted by MEDRAP in conjunction with the Health Action International (HAI) has revealed that the Ministry of Health (MoH), has scaled up availability and access to ASRHR in the two provinces.
Sharing the report during a training workshop on SRHR in Samfya District of Luapula Province this week, Mr. Liyoka said the study revealed that 91% of the surveyed facilities provided AFSRH services without permission from guardians.
“For example, 91% of the surveyed facilities provide AFSRH services. These services were offered without permission from guardians in 97% of the surveyed facilities. This study also found that 96% of the facilities were easily and safely accessible by foot or public transport (according to the HCWs), while 97% of the healthcare workers also indicated that they were comfortable with providing contraceptives to both married and unmarried women, and discussing sexual health matters with adolescents. Availability of dedicated staff offering AFSRH services was recorded in 83% of the surveyed facilities,” Mr Liyoka said.
According to MEDRAP Communications Officer Tinkerbel Mwila, the report has recommended that the Government conducts regular visits, increase transparency and ensure active participation of stakeholders in decision making processes related to the delivery and monitoring of SRH services.