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‘Binge drinking among youths worrying’

CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
CENTRE for Reproductive Health and Education (CRHE) is concerned with binge drinking among youths at weekends  especially in Lusaka’s shopping mall car parks.

Centre executive director Amos Mwale who conducted a survey at shopping malls after receiving reports has called on local authorities and management of the shopping malls to help control drinking among the young people.
Binge drinking is taking alcohol with the intent of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time
Mr Mwale said a check at upper car parks at some malls revealed that youths as young as 14 years were consuming alcohol.
He said it is a worrisome situation as it shows the insight to why pregnancies among teenagers is high and new infections of sexually transmitted infections in the age group of 12 and 14 years is still high.
“The Lusaka City Council (LCC) should work with management of shopping malls to ensure alcohol is not sold to the under age.
“The management of shopping malls should also ensure that they increase security to monitor activities in car parks and put up visible warning posters,” he said.
Mr Mwale said once the youths get drunk they start kissing and what follows is something else.
He said his organisation will soon be conducting programmes in malls and help curb consuming of alcohol among youths.
LCC public relations manager Muyunda Habeenzu said the council will send officers to the shopping malls to investigate the reported cases of drinking.
Mr Muyunda appealed to the Centre for Reproductive Health and Education to compile a report and ensure that it reaches the office of the town clerk.
And Mr Mwale says the rising cases of  pupils getting pregnant calls for all reproductive health stakeholders and Government to accept that young people are sexually active and are not using any family planning methods.
He said the recent cases in Kalabo and Livingstone of pupils being treated for unsafe abortions is a wake-up call that more sensitisation should be done.
Mr Mwale called for more friendly health facilities where youths could access information on matters of reproductive health.

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