Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has encouraged youths to use contraception in order to decrease the number of teenage pregnancies.
Speaking at a media sensitization workshop in Kadoma on Wednesday, Marian Hellen Machimbukire from ZNFPC said contraception is the only that can curb teenage pregnancies, also calling on parents to educate their children on safe sex as well as preaching the gospel of abstinence.
“40% girls and 30% boys are having sex before 18 years…total risks of birth control are much less than those of an unwanted pregnancy,” said Machimbukire.
She called on society to accept the fact that young people are sexually active, with those in rural areas the most affected by young motherhood.
“Young motherhood is more common in rural areas and 22% of young women aged 15-19 years have already begun child bearing,
“17% of youth are already mothers and an additional 5% are pregnant with their first child,” added Machimbukire.
She added that in as much as it sounds morally wrong, contraception was the only way to curb teenage pregnancies.
According to Machimbukire, ZNPFC targets to reduce teenage pregnancies from 21% to 12% by 2020.
She urged young women in rural areas affected by child marriages to be educated on the modern contraception and stop the use of traditional birth control methods.