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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Multi-sectoral approach required to tackle child sexual exploitation – VP Chiwenga

By Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

VICE President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga has called for a multi-sectoral approach to deal with the issue of child sexual exploitation and sexual reproductive health rights which have become a global headache.

This Thursday, the curtain came down on the world’s largest scientific conference on family planning and reproductive health which attracted representatives from more than 125 countries committed to ensuring that family planning becomes a core component of universal health coverage.

In an interview with ZBC News on the sidelines of the conference, Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care Minister, called for the inclusion of the boy child in sexual and reproductive health rights.

“People should have children at the right time. They should be able to space their children in the manner they like and have children they will be able to look after, they will be able to clothe, feed and send to school. In my two addresses to the conference, I expressed the issue that we need to look at all the methods and think outside the box and say what is it we need to do.

“The, first is abstinence, the second issue is to make sure that there is thorough education which is given to both sexes not only to one sex and we need to educate our youngsters from home as they go to school, what kind of education they should be given. We should look at both sexes because if you teach the girl child and you leave the boy you are not going to succeed, if you teach the woman and you leave the man you are not going to succeed, all sexes must be taught.

“Where we are is dangerous, we are now getting babies trying to make homes, its because the family is no longer doing its work, it must start within the nuclear family, that is the husband and wife from there it goes now to the extended family from the extended family it goes now to the school, these are also parents and they will eventually take over. When the child is at school he or she is given good manners, when the child goes home he or she is given good manners and that should be, then there will come a time where the peer pressure starts to creep in.

“We need now to start looking at that group separately so that the issue of peer pressure is completely taken out of play. The issues of faith must now play a major role because when children are being moulded in terms of faith the first and most important thing is that they will learn about the 10 commandments and once they internalise those commandments, then they will know one of the major commandments and that is ‘thou shall not commit adultery,” once that has been grilled into the children they will know and they will wait until their time comes,” he said.

Meanwhile, after impressive presentations by the Zimbabwean team at the conference, the United Nations has confirmed the country as the host of the 27-member International Conference for Partners in Development (CPD) next year.

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