RE: “Teach teenagers contraceptives use, says Gender minister” (The New Times, February 22).
Hopefully, this will be put into action. I am told that many health clinics already put in place hoops that the young women have to jump to get the family planning services.
One of those is that they do not give contraceptives to young women unless accompanied by a ‘husband’.
Yet, for many young women, they may not necessarily wish to go with a boyfriend, even if sexually active with him, for various reasons and its quite ridiculous to subject a woman to interrogations.
It is, however, prudent to counsel them against Sexually Transmitted Diseases, mainly HIV/AIDS, but this should be done in a courteous and respectful way.
I met one young lady who told me that she had to befriend a pharmacist lady whom she now depends on for regular advice on different issues.
Some young ladies also fear the doctors who may know them or their families and will not want to be open on matters of reproductive health.
I believe that this kind of fear is premised on something inherent. It means that these practitioners are not doing enough to reach out to these vulnerable youth.
These issues have presented a major problem; unless medical practitioners are educated to be open, non-judgmental, courteous and respectful, this issue will remain a deterrent to the young women seeking these services.
After all, who benefits from a younger generation that is not afflicted with AIDS?
Of course all of us…cases abound of wives who got infected from a husband who slept with a young house help who apparently looked innocent but was HIV+ and who also slept with the oldest son in the house.
People, let’s not bury our heads in the sand citing ‘umuco’ when all its doing is bring death literally to our doorsteps.