Adolescents embrace youth-friendly health services at the Schools Rugby Festival 2019
ZNFPC Adolescent and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) Department in collaboration with Marketing and Communications Unit exhibited at the Dairibord sponsored Schools Rugby Festival held at Prince Edward School from the 29th April – 4th May 2019. The youth-friendly activity was executed with funding from International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
By Donald Dube (HQ)
The exhibition aimed to conduct community dialogues and sensitization on ASRH and Rights. The organization provided free services including HIV Testing Services and information awareness health talks to young people and adults as they gathered to cheer and support the sport of rugby. ZNFPC theme at the rugby festival was, ‘Say NO to teenage pregnancy’ taking inspiration in efforts towards achieving the ZNFP Strategy (2016 – 2020) goal number two to reduce teenage pregnancy from 22% to 12% by 2020.
This year’s edition witnessed an increased participation by the girls’ teams. In addition the tournament’s expansion accommodated primary school children, to catch them young in the sport of rugby. The tournament has developed from time to time to incorporate schools from high density locations and from the rural areas. Students from all over Zimbabwe schools converged and camped at Price Edward School for the rugby festival. As such the composition of adolescents and youths was diverse hence ideal for dissemination of ASRHR information.
Partners present at the rugby festival included PSZ, PSI, SAFAIDS, MSF, NAC, Econet and Sports Aids Project among others. Through announcements, the public address system encouraged young people to visit exhibition tents to access information and services. Over 600 people visited ZNFPC stand mostly young people, to access health services.
At the stand, young people were given information on comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) to encompass abstinence, drug and alcohol abuse and making informed decisions, gender roles and responsibilities, menstrual hygiene management and relationships. Adult audience received information on Parent to Child Communication (PCC) to empower them with skills to discuss ASRHR issues with their children and siblings. Over 300 posters and 1000 pamphlets on ASRH were disseminated to specific target audience for consumption. The organization delivered health talks through public lectures organized by the hosting school.
Quiz competitions were held on the last two days of the tournament. Purpose of the quiz show was to assess people’s understanding of adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health rights and services. The quiz shows proved to be crowd pulling activities as students received branded T-shirts. In addition, menstrual hygiene management sessions were performed with sanitary wear being distributed to adolescent girls for free. The rugby festival was an interactive platform to share experiences with adolescents and young people in a sporty and edutainment setting.