The newly elected Mayor of Francistown, Shadrack Nyeku, has expressed concern over the continuing increase of teenage pregnancies in the Francistown area.
Nyeku, who was giving an address last week during the commemoration of the World Aids Day in Monarch location, Francistown, indicated that the Francistown Clinics have reported that 334 teenagers were seeking ante natal care between January and September this year. He stated that high numbers of Sexually Transmitted Infections were also reported.
“The pattern of high STIs and high teenage pregnancies translate to the fact that we are not accessing some services properly, such as getting condoms and consistently using them,” remarked the Mayor.
He went on to state that it was very crucial for people to test for HIV, as this would enable their partners to access services provided to root out HIV and Aids scourge.
Relating to the theme of the day, “Universal Access and Human Rights”, Nyeku indicated that every individual was entitled to the basic human rights and human rights were not special privileges as they did not depend on whether the economy was weak or strong, poor or rich and men or women but were based on the fact that all people are human.
“The theme calls for everyone to have an equal opportunity to access treatment, to be cared for and to be supported when ill,” said Nyeku.
Nyeku also mentioned that Francistown was badly hit by the HIV/Aids virus because the prevalence rate was sitting at 23.1%. However Nyeku projected that he was hopeful because, on the 31 October 2009, statistics showed that 16,001 adults and children were accessing free ARVs in the district through five public institutions in partnership with private practitioners.
“This access is bound to increase next year when two more public clinics start offering ARV services in the district,” Nyeku said.
He urged the participants to prevent new infections by using preventative methods and being faithful to their partners.