Chingola HIV/AIDS infection rate worry Latkings
By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Latkings in its quest to help adolescents with Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) awareness is seeking for answers why Chingola has increased number of HIV/AIDS case.
The organisations that offers SRH Knowledge to adolescents in schools said the continued increase in HIV infection cases in the district is worrying because it puts girls at risk.
The organization District Coordinator Ruth Mutaneko and some adolescents (district Champions) visited the District Health office to discuss and see how best they can work together especially that the young ones have not been spared.
Ms Mutaneko said Latkings Outreach Program has in the past three years created demand.
She said her organizations has increased acceptance and access to Sexual and Representative health information and services to 500 girls as its primary target and over 4000 it’s secondary.
Ms Mutaneko said Latkings Outreach Program has got two adolescent friendly spaces in Chingola with a view of making the spaces more attractive for the youths.
Chingola District Senior Clinical Officer Chaila Siluyele who addressed them told the group that the district is working hard in putting up measures to see to it that the figures are brought down.
Dr Siluyele said in as much as the district is putting up measures to fight the pandemic, but young people still shun Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services.
He said they have tried putting up youth friendly comers in clinics for to improve on privacy but they are scared of stigma.
“Some fear mixing with adults but still the youths are not showing up. This is the same scenario with adult, they come when they are sick or when they have been infected by HIV. The question is, why are the youths afraid of coming? What is the cause of they fear? The District Health Office has and is still doing a lot of sensitization meetings and going to the media yet nothing.
“Th other thing is that parents should also put in effort and come out in the open and talk about HIV to their children. In as much as parents want to pretend about HIV/AIDS and sex to the children, there are still having sex or are getting information elsewhere,” he said.
Dr Siluyele said it would be best if the knowledge of sex and other issues came from parents, maybe it would make impact.
He encouraged the young ones to focus on school as it would help them in the future and not petty things.
“What will help you in future is education not sex or the latest phone you see and want to get now but you can buy your own with your own hard earned money when you get education,” he said.
Elgar Katati, a Grade 12 pupil and a Dreams Latkings District Champion told Dr Siluyele that friendly comers should be made attractive for youths to be attracted to them.
Ms Katati said youths get bored with routine work, hence the need of doing more about friendly corners and bring other activities other than just talking about HIV alone.
She said privacy on the status of adolescents should not be compromised as it may be one of the reasons they are not testing.