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Chaminuka Provincial Newspapers

15 maternal deaths recorded in Mashonaland East


By Brian Manhiri

MARONDERA- Mashonaland East province recorded 15 maternal deaths in the first quarter of this year, with five of them being adolescents.

This was revealed by the provincial reproductive health officer, Loice Mwedziwendira at Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health meeting that was held in Marondera recently.

She said: “Our province reported 15 maternal deaths. Among these deaths, there were five adolescents. Two of these adolescents suffered exclamsia, that is high blood pressure during pregnancy.”

Mwedziwendira called for the empowerment of adolescents to make sure that they focus on education first before engaging in sexual engagements.

“The young people should be empowered. They must be consistently educated on the consequences of rushing into sexual activities or early marriages,” she said.

ZNFPC marketing and communications officer David Murwira highlighted on the importance of inclusiveness of the young people living with disabilities and the less privileged in children’s homes.

Murwira said: “As stakeholders, let’s always make sure that we reach out to all young people in all corners of the province. We should intensify programmes that tackle all the issues that have anything to do with sexual reproductive health, mental health as well as drugs and substances abuse.

“There are young people who are disadvantaged as well as those who are living with various forms of disabilities. Those youths should not be left behind as well in our programming.”

On menstrual health management, Murwira called for the capacitation of the young people to make a shift into reusable pads.

“We are encouraging programming in the use of reusable pads by the young girls. We are trying to move away from the element of non-reusable pads because at the end of the day they may not be sustainable but if we introduce re-usable pads by way of capacitating these young people in all districts in the province, we would have fought against poverty at the end of the day,” Murwira said.

Students and Youths Working on Reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) representative Dennis Dumile highlighted the importance of addressing adolescent sexual reproductive health matters.

He said: “Addressing sexual reproductive health issues for the young people is important as it feeds into their future. In as much as organizations are putting efforts to distribute condoms, there are still cases of young people who are falling prey to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

“This is a clear indication that there is still a gap on comprehensive education on how to correctly and consistently use condoms. We are also calling other organizations out there to come forth and collaborate in supporting the young people, especially on sexual reproductive health.”

A study has shown that at least 23 percent of the 1 600 maternal deaths recorded from 2019-2022 were adolescents.

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