Over the past 6 years I have been responsible for designing and implementing interventions addressing key sexual reproductive health themes including family planning in various capacities namely Student Peer Educator, Volunteer, Provincial Coordinator and Programmes Officer. I am currently the Country Coordinator for International Youth Alliance on Family Planning. I have also supported the implementation of International Campaigns and Projects in-country such as the I Decide Campaign, Social Family 5 (IPPF). I have contributed to improved knowledge on, increased access to and increased uptake of FP Services among students and young people. Where necessary I have also facilitated for mobile service provision of FP Services given the inability of some of the young people to access them.
The unmet need of FP services amongst young people sparked my passion. Young people are central in sexual reproductive health broadly and family planning in particular. I have since noticed how excluded young people are from the FP discourse, yet they are the most affected by FP related challenges in their day to day lives chief amongst these being unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, increased maternal mortality for the ages of 15-24, or complications during pregnancy or child birth.
My FP efforts have been mostly on information dissemination and referrals for young people requiring the services as my work did not entail the provision of the services. The challenge has always been with the young people accessing the services due to financial constraints, distance limitations, and policy restraints for some of the age groups to access. The resultant effect has been that amongst young people FP has now been reduced to mean the use of condoms and emergency contraceptives only
Despite knowledge of contraception being nearly universal in Zimbabwe there still remains an unmet need in the access to and utilization of FP Services and commodities among young people yet evidence confirm that they are the most affected by Unplanned and Unwanted Pregnancies, maternal mortality, Prevalence of HIV and AIDS. The challenge in FP is the unmet need of FP services for young people which is exacerbated by policy restraints, and lack of comprehensive sexuality education
1. Contribute to the ongoing advocacy on the finalization and rolling out of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education Strategy
2. Build more evidence on the Knowledge, perceptions and beliefs of young people on FP
3. Create spaces for free and frank discussions on FP at family and community level to eliminate the current stigma around the theme