By Progress Chaya
The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has said the Covid-19 induced national lockdown had resulted in increased consumption of pornographic material leading to higher STI infection rates especially among the youth.
The organisation said the development was militating against its efforts to reduce unwanted pregnancies by the end of this year.
Speaking at a recent community stakeholder engagement meeting organised by MyAge Zimbabwe, ZNFPC Masvingo provincial education and marketing officer Hebert Chikosi said the lockdown had presented its own challenges regarding sexual and reproductive health.
“ZNFPC had set targets to reduce unwanted pregnancy from 24 to 12 percent by the end of this year but we are now faced with new challenges that may make that impossible due to many factors including the lockdown,” said Chikosi.
He said the lockdown had in many instances led to idleness and subsequent sexual immorality among young people who had hitherto spent their time occupied in productive sectors of the economy.
“Our studies show that the rate of STI infection among the youth has risen since the beginning of the lockdown due to an increase in unprotected sex partly attributable to the use of pornography,” he said.
Chikosi said ZNFPC had since resumed distribution of condoms in public toilets and health institution to ensure increased access to sexual health.
He said the organisation had also started a home delivery programme which could be ordered on phone number 039 262237 for those who wanted ZNPC products to be delivered to their doorsteps.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the National Aids Council (NAC), Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Disability Amalgamation Community Trust (DACT) and representatives of sex workers.
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