Serious barriers prevents adolescents from accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services safely & confidentially

Serious barriers prevents adolescents from accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services safely & confidentially

HARARE, Zimbabwe, March 13, 2018/ — In Zimbabwe, a host of barriers are preventing adolescents, defined as aged 10 to 19 years, from accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services safely and confidentially without the consent of their parents.

Without free and informative access to health services that include contraceptives, treatment for sexually transmitted infections and condoms, national studies show that rates of adolescent pregnancy and HIV are increasing, while knowledge levels around sexual health are declining. One study revealed that Zimbabwe has the highest teenage fertility rate in sub-Saharan Africa with one in every 10 girls aged between 15 and 19 years falling pregnant every year.

Culturally, young people are often expected to abstain from sex until they get married. National law states that young people below the age of 16 years can’t take an HIV test without parental consent, and health workers often stigmatize young people seeking sexual health advice.

Yet in many communities like Mbare, a sprawling high-density suburb in the capital Harare, the reality is that young people start having sex and experimenting as early as 12 years, frequently without protection or information on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, STIs and HIV infection.

Young people living with HIV also face particular difficulties, especially if they only learn of their HIV status by accident in their teens. Most find it difficult to accept their condition, and often stop taking their antiretroviral treatment (ART). Crowded living conditions which force young people out of their homes and abuse of alcohol and drugs also plays havoc with staying on regular treatment.

Recognizing the huge vulnerability of adolescents without access to free sexual and reproductive health services, MSF partnered with the Harare City health department to start an ‘adolescent-friendly corner’ at Edith Opperman clinic in Mbare. Staff in the brightly coloured rooms offer free services which include general health check-ups, HIV testing and counselling, screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraceptive services.

In between appointments, young visitors can play pool or chat with ‘peer educators’, themselves young people, who MSF has trained and mentored to discuss sexual health issues with their peers or encourage them to stick to their treatment.

In 2017, 2454 consultations were provided for young people in the ‘adolescent corner’.

How Does Drug Addiction Affect Family Relationships?  

How Does Drug Addiction Affect Family Relationships?  

by Garry Smith

Qualities you need to get through medical school and residency: Discipline. Patience. Perseverance. A willingness to forgo sleep. A penchant for sadomasochism. Ability to weather crises of faith and self-confidence. Accept exhaustion as fact of life. Addiction to caffeine a definite plus. Unfailing optimism that the end is in sight. “Khaled Hosseini”

Drug addiction is the most dangerous thing as it ruins the life of both, the druggist as well as his family members. The long use of drugs depreciates the health of the person along with mental weakness. It not only affects the person inhaling drugs but destroys his family too. So, it causes a big damage to the family and can’t be easily repaired.

Today, we are living in a nuclear family so the whole family is run by one individual mainly. So, if somehow that person gets addicted to drugs, it will break the family both financially and mentally. This will bring the crisis of the money and will force them to gain money by hook or by crook.

Mental weakness hampers relationships:
The drugs make the person mentally weak. So, the person performs many unwanted things which start breaking his/her personal relationships and can’t be easily mended. On getting addicted to drugs, you won’t be able to live without drugs and you will need them more and more. It will consume most of your time and your concentration too. So, you won’t get much time to spend with your family members or friends and this starts generating a gap between your relationships. Along with it, the number of arguments also increases because you are giving more preference to drugs than your family.

Body and mind control is lost:
When a person takes regular drugs and gets addicted, his brain and body aren’t in his control. This causes illness and diseases to that person. So, that person mostly needs a caretaker who can handle him. This is a great burden because sometimes you need to take care of his physical health also. This will start depreciating the goals of the caretaker as he doesn’t have much time to do things according to his own wish.

Financials become weak and hence disputes occur:
The drug addiction also brings financial crisis with it. Drug addiction will not allow you to work and force you to take more and more drugs. This will decrease your income and increase your expenditure. In short, the financial health of the family goes down and will generate stress for all family members.

Understanding with the partner vanishes:
Taking drugs will contrast your understanding with your partner and will increase the risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). This is the worst thing which occurs after taking drugs. The person is not in control after taking excess drugs and start moving towards violence or inappropriate behaviors. It may be verbal, physical, sexual or emotional.

Sometimes, drug addiction may also cause many misunderstandings and this may lead to divorce. Due to which, children suffer a lot and remain in the unstable environment. This destroys all their goals and makes them mentally weak.
How Does Drug Addiction Affect Family Relationships?

The drug addiction causes a big damage to your health and reflects the impact on your family. So, in order to save your family and live a happy life, you must remove drugs from your life. On deleting the drug from your life, you can spend plenty of time with your family members or friends. This will help in generating close relationships and leads to a happy life.

Life is a series of baby steps along the way and if you add up these tiny little steps you take toward your goal, whatever it is, whether it’s giving up something, a terrible addiction or trying to work your way through an illness. When you total up those baby steps you’d be amazed over the course of 10 years, the strides you’ve taken. “Hoda Kotb”