Youths shunning SRHS

Zomba Central Hospital

….As scarcity of condoms hit Phalombe

Health authorities say many youths in the country are not accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (SRHS) despite presence of Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) in most hospitals.

This was revealed during a football fiesta which involved seven teams organised by Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) department at Holy Family mission hospital.

Zomba Central Hospital
Scarcity of condoms hit Phalombe. (file)

According to YFHS Coordinator at the hospital Erick Manjolo, they organised the event so that they should encourage youths that they should be feeling free when it comes to seeking HIV testing services (HTS).

“Most of the youths feel shy to come to the hospital to get HTS and other services forgetting that we have YFHS departments.

“So we thought of coming up with this event so that we should remind the youths the importance of getting the HTS and reminding them that here at the hospital we also have YFHS,” he said.

Manjolo then concluded by revealing that the main challenge which his office is now facing is scarcity of condoms which youths come and get for their own protection.

Out of approximately 700 youths who attended the event only 104 got HIV testing services which were being offered at the place for free. Among those tested, 72 were boys and 32 girls whose ages do not exceed 25.

During the tournament, Good Samaritan FC emerged champions after thumping CTC 2-1. And about 15 players were selected to establish a team for the hospital under YFHS office.

Holy Family mission hospital YFHS catchment area has population of youths calculated to 10674 and the event only targeted 2000 of them.