Plan Intenational Zimbabwe’s (PIZ) Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Manager Maxwell Mhlanga speaking at a virtual meeting organised by Plan International said a survey carried out at the onset of the lockdown in April showed that more and more adolescent girls were engaging in unsafe se_x and he expressed concern that it might result in a spike in STIs and unwanted pregnancies, Health Times reports.
The survey in question targeted boys and girls aged between 7 and 17 from all 10 provinces and it was held online and the sample size was 11, 674 boys and girls. and according to the publication, here are the results of the publication:
5109 girls against 3217 boys engaged in sex during the period under review bringing the total to 8326. Of the 8326, 2186 girls engaged in safe sex while 986 boys also engaged in safe sex bringing the total to 3172 of adolescent who had protected sex during the period. However, 2361 girls said they had unprotected sex during the period under review whereas 1933 boys also confessed to having unsafe sex.
50% of the boys and girls who were interviewed of those 11, 674 had sex by April this year. Of that 50%, 62% were girls. Only 38% of the adolescent girls engaged in safe sex and of those who engaged in safe sex, only 42% of the girls had safe sex at least according to their reports. 6% of the girls who responded to that survey gave an anonymous answer on the question of sexual activity.
Commenting on the survey and the issue at large, Mhlanga said:
Looking at this kind of exposure and the risk that unsafe sex has to the girl child with regards to teenage pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV, we still have a lot of things to deliberate on because globally, it has been proven that teenage pregnancies have negative effects on the girl child resulting in complications during child birth and statistics have proven that, one in every four maternal deaths is a teenage mother or adolescent mother.
Adolescent mothers (ages 10–19 years) face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and systemic infections and babies of adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions. Adolescent mothers are also the highest risk group for obstetric fistulae and also not forgetting the fact if they are in school, most girls once they fall pregnant drop out of school which further worsen their situation
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