Gender Gender

‘Intensify reproductive health education in rural areas’

PRISCILLA MWILA, Lusaka
THE Zambia National Traditional Counsellors Association (ZNTCA) has called on government and other stakeholders to intensify sensitisation efforts on reproductive health especially in rural areas to reduce the number of school dropouts due to early pregnancies.
ZNTCA programmes manager Golden Muchemwa said myths surrounding the use of contraceptives and bad traditional and cultural practices have continued to violate women’s reproductive and health rights.
Mr Muchemwa said in an interview that ZNTCA has started reaching out to traditional leaders who are custodians of traditional practices to sensitise them on reproductive health. He said the campaign requires combined efforts from other stakeholders.
“We have taken the lead in educating the public especially those in rural areas on various reproductive health issues and the effects of some bad traditional practices. We need all stakeholders to come on board if this advocacy is to succeed,” he said.
Mr Muchemwa said their reproductive health advocacy targets traditional and civic leader, communities and school children among other people across the country.
He said modern family planning services have been well received in urban areas, whereas rural dwellers shun them due to misconceptions.
Mr Muchemwa observed that although family planning services are available in rural areas, women fail to space their children because of the long distances they have walk to the nearest health centres.
As a result of lack of access to family planning information and services, some women in these communities do not use any family planning at all.
Mr Muchemwa said a survey carried out by ZNTCA in some parts of Zambia found that most women have little or no say on how many children they should have because decision-making is done by men.

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