Teen Pregnancies and STIs A Fresh Headache for Matabeleland
Illustration generated using AI/The Citizen Bulletin
Teenage pregnancies and the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections are threatening the social fabric of Matabeleland. Victims blame ignorance.
GWANDA (The Citizen Bulletin) — At the age of 13, still a very ambitious and stubborn teen, Nanae Dlomo* chose to stay behind in the city with her father after her parents separated.
She did not like the idea of moving back to the village with her mother and her younger siblings. Dlomo’s upbringing had a negative impact on her social life and she ended up getting pregnant at an early age.
“Without a mother, I had no one else to guide me and teach me about sex and contraceptives. I’m in this predicament because of that,” says Dlomo.
Dlomo, just like many other teenage mothers in Gwanda, strongly believes that inadequate information on contraceptives has led to high teenage pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Another young woman, Mirriam Ndlovu*, says she got infected with an STI due to inadequate information on how to protect herself.
“If l had known, l would have made informed choices on sexual and reproductive health,” she says. “But I didn’t have enough information then.”
In Matabeleland South, research shows that school children, especially girls, engage in sexual intercourse at an early age. The situation is the same in the northern side of the region.