Zim teens call for access to birth control

Statistics show that 48 percent of young people in Zimbabwe do not know their HIV status as they require parental consent to get tested. File picture: Rick Bowmer/AP

Civil society organisations are calling Zimbabwean government to remove age restrictions in accessing reproductive health services among adolescents.

Civil organisation that work with adolescent girls and young women said access to preventive tools would also help reduce AIDS-related deaths and unsafe abortions.

The organisation said laws and policies regulating access to such services in Zimbabwe created barriers for adolescents and blocked their access to vital services to protect themselves.

“The age of consenting to sexual activity and the minimum age of marriage should not be linked to the age at which adolescents can access sexual and reproductive health information, education and services,” said the organisations.

The organisations said 22 percent of adolescent females aged 15 to 19 years had begun child bearing,17 percent had given birth and another five percent were estimated to be pregnant with their first child.

Civil organisations are calling on the Zimbabwean government to remove age restrictions in teenagers accessing family planning. Video: Zodidi Dano/African News Agency

Statistics also showed that 48 percent of young people in the country did not know their HIV status as they required parental consent to get tested.