10-year-old girls on contraceptive

From CHALI MULENGA in Livingstone
GIRLS as young as 10 years old are being administered with family planning contraceptives in various health centres in Livingstone.
District medical office acting HIV/AIDS co-ordinator Habben Kolala said health institutions in Livingstone are attending to girls seeking family planning services.
Mr Kolala disclosed this on Friday last week during a workshop organised by Youth Alive.
The workshop was held under the theme “HIV/AIDS-free Generation is Possible”.
“In the last quarter, health centres in the district recorded an increase in the number of girls aged between 10 and 15 years old seeking family planning services. Some of the girls actually request for the injection contraceptive,” he said.
He said there is nothing sinister about girls aged between 10 and 15 years old acquiring family planning service.
Mr Kolala said currently, there is no specific contraceptive (pill and injection) for children.
“The girls are given the same dose as adults and there is no harm as the liver is fully functional by the time they are 12 years old and the average age of the girls seeking the services is 12 years,” he said.
He said the girls are usually accompanied by parents and or guardians.
Mr Kolala said the girls and their parents are counselled before the service is administered.
“Sometimes it is the parents that are prompted to bring their children to seek the service due to the high number of girls having unprotected sex and falling pregnant in the district,” Mr Kolala said.
Mr Kolala, however, said the health centres have not been able to follow up on how the girls being administered with the services are fairing.

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