Iringa launches programme to fight teenage pregnancy

12Oct 2021
Friday Simbaya
The Guardian
Iringa launches programme to fight teenage pregnancy

AUTHORITIES in Iringa Region have embarked on a programme aimed at fighting teenage pregnancies as well as violence against children and women.

social welfare officer from Iringa regional commissioner office, Josephine Mwaipopo said that in collaboration with stakeholders they have started providing reproductive health training, life skills and gender violence issues to young people in and out of schools.

This, according to her, the training will help reduce or eradicate various challenges facing young people such as teenage pregnancies.

Mwaipopo said this recently while closing the reproductive health and life skills training for 66 young people from 17 schools in five councils of Iringa region, who will later help pass the education on to their peers in schools and in the community.

The training was organized by SOS Children’s Villages Tanzania in collaboration with the government through the children with children (CwC) project being implemented in the Iringa region.

Mwaipopo commended SOS for helping to combat incidents of violence as well as helping to educate the 66 children from Iringa MC, Iringa DC, Mafinga TC, Mufindi DC and Kilolo DC councils

She explained that the Iringa region is facing challenges of various incidents of violence thus inviting other stakeholders to help fight issues of violence against children as well as women.

She also said that as a regional government, they have various anti-violence strategies in collaboration with stakeholders to allocate budgets at council level to reach children with children through the CwC project funded by SOS in collaboration with the government.

Fred Tuluka, a national trainer for adolescent reproductive health issues from Dodoma, said that they have provided peer education training to young people to build their capacity in issues of reproductive and sexual health, life skills, violence as well as give them peer education techniques

He said that they were using a national curriculum developed by the health ministry which is used across the country to educate young people about reproductive health education and life skills.

Tuluka said that the young people who received the training will be a catalyst for their peers as they have time to connect with their peers and stakeholders.

“We have prepared this army (youth) to meet another larger army in the society that has not been directly exposed to our training and ultimately reduce the challenges that young people face such as teenage pregnancy, HIV infection, sexual infectious diseases but also low consumption of youth health care, ” Tuluka said.

Jonimika Mgalumi is a SOS project assistant officer from Kilolo District, on behalf of the project coordinator Victor Mwaipungu, said that SOS Children’s Villages Tanzania is implementing a project known as children with children (CwC) aged 12-19 with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, in five councils of Iringa region.

He said the project focuses on two things that are to prevent and respond, where in terms of prevention educate various young girls and boys who are in adolescence period to prevent teenage pregnancies for young girls.

He said that the boys were trained how to protect their sisters from teenage pregnancies, sexual violence and harassment.

In terms of response, the project aims to reach young girls who have been identified by the project by equipping them with entrepreneurship education to enable them initiate income generating projects.

Faith Tarimo, a form five student at Tagamenda Secondary School in Iringa Municipality, said that the reproductive health education training they received will help young people learn how to take care of themselves to achieve their future dreams

She also added that the education they have received will help them cope with the various challenges they face in their lives such as teenage pregnancies that prevent many girls from completing school.

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