People with disabilities have demanded sexual reproductive health services from government saying they are still battling against myths that they do not reproduce.
In an interview with 263Chat, Masimba Kuchera who was born with a visual impairment said there is still a gap for People With Disabilities(PWDs) in accessing sexual reproductive services.
“People with disabilities are not mobile of which and some of these service centers are not close by so it means PWDs have to travel to get these services,” said Kuchera.
He said PWDs are still stigmatized as many people think that they don’t have feelings.
“There are myths that PWDs don’t reproduce, they don’t have sex, and they don’t do what normal people don’t do. Resources to actually acquire sexual reproductive health services, they are expensive and beyond reach of many people,” he added.
Kuchera urged government to start by retraining the health sector to look at people with disabilities differently and to de-stigmatize sexual and reproductive health rights issues.
“The government should provide resources and spread awareness so that women and girls are not stigmatize/traumatized,” added Kuchera.
Director of Deaf Women Included (DWI) Agness Chindimba called on government to change the lenses they view PWDs.
“Some people ask stupid questions for example if they see a person with disabilities pregnant, they ask if they had sex when it’s obvious. It’s not the Holy Spirit. People tend to see the disability before reflecting that we are also human beings,” she said.
Chindimba urged the government to train health workers on sign language or to avail translators in all health institutions.
According to ZIMSTAT Intercensal Demographic (2017) people with disabilities make up an estimated 9% of the population which represents more than 1.2 million.