By. Tinotenda Mutubuki
The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) will open its first ever Harare youth centre at its Fife Avenue clinic in 2012.
The centre is meant to provide youths in Harare with sexual reproductive health services in a youth friendly environment.
Speaking in an interview, Acting Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) manager for ZNFPC Mrs. Helen Machimbirike said setting up of the centre was necessitated after realising the dire need for a comprehensive youth friendly service in Harare province.
“We have 26 youth centres and corners strategically spotted in all provinces in Zimbabwe and we saw it as a necessary cause to establish one in the capital,” she said.
Among the services to be offered at the youth centre are counselling, life skills training, recreation, HIV testing and counselling, diagnosis of STIs, health education talks and other sexual reproductive health needs.
Machimbirike said the services will be given free to the youths who need it, without any discrimination or judgement. In a statement at a stakeholders meeting held at the centre early November last year, Machimbirike urged parents, guardians, teachers, churches and other organisations dealing with youth to encourage them to use this facility.
She went on to say, “Youth are very vulnerable because they are still growing up, so we have to treat them in a most friendly manner, which is why all staff that will be attending to them will be specially trained in ASRH programming.”
ZNFPC defines a youth as anyone aged between 10 to 24 years.