By Alinafe Nyanda.
Koinonia Mission at Chenyama village in traditional authority Karonga in Salima has noted that the youth in the district are highly excluded in terms of participation on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV issues.
Koinonia’s Programme Manager Emmanuel Chiweyo said that leadership in the faith community, political arena and civil society at large are not influential to facilitate dialogue on sexual reproductive human rights and HIV.
Chiweyo also noted that lack of influence from these leaders is negatively affecting youth access to youth friendly reproductive health services.
“Youth are the window of hope for the development of this country. As such, they need proper care and guidance to ensure that they remain healthy and productive. Young people have needs and challenges that affect their growth and development.
“However, many young peo-ple and the adults around them either are unaware of these needs or what to do about them. Those who are aware often have problems accessing services that address their needs”
On marriage age, the Programme Manager said the country’s republican constitution was not clear on the age of marriage as a girl who is below the age of sixteen could get married with parental consent.
He further noted that at this age girls are very young and not ready for sex which exposes them to gender based violence, cervical cancer risks and maternal deaths.
He then called for constitutional review to ensure that the marriage age is adjusted upwards to 21 years to enable girls get educated adequately.
Kononia it’s a faith mission organization exists as a Biblical community to glorify God by exalting His supremacy in all things, equipping one another for works of service, and evangelizing all nations so that we may present all people complete in Christ.