Members of Parliament from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs during a meeting with stakeholders to take stock of health related matters in the Tsumkwe constituency
|Story by George Sanzila
Tsumkwe/ Gam - Alcohol and drug abuse has become a serious challenge among the youth in the Gam and Tsumkwe areas leading many, particularly young girls to engage in irresponsible sexual behavior. Incidents of gender based violence although minimal are also attributed to the latter vices. Although HIV infections have been brought down according to the statistics provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the area, new HIV infections are mainly among adolescents, particularly young girls.
This was revealed during a consultative meeting by Members of Parliament from the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs in the two areas recently. The visits are meant to ascertain the conditions of health facilities and to look at issues pertaining to sexual reproductive health rights and find solutions.
The SADC Parliamentary Forum launched a project on sexual reproductive health and rights, HIV and AIDS in Namibia recently. The project, currently implemented in seven SADC countries, requires Members of Parliament to be advocates for sexual rights particularly among women and girls. Sexual Reproductive health rights issues affecting Namibia include HIV and AIDS, teenage pregnancies, child marriages, baby dumping, abortion, gender based violence and homosexuality among many others.
The problem of alcohol and drug abuse has become so pervasive that, Tsumkwe constituency councilor, Hon. Fransina Ghauz appealed for stricter alcohol controls particularly among those selling home brewed alcohol.
The committee comprised of Hons. Ida Hoffman, Agnes Limbo, Jennifer Van Den Heever, Petrina Haingura and Sebastian Karupu is visiting the Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions to find solutions to health related challenges affecting communities.