HomeLocalColleges ill-equipped to deal with students’ health needs

Colleges ill-equipped to deal with students’ health needs

Beatrice Savadye, Advocacy Officer for Student and Youth Working on Sexual Reproductive Health Action Team (Saywhat), said there is no college that offers Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) or comprehensive treatment and management of STIs.

 

Speaking at a Southern Africa HIV and Aids Dissemination Information Service (SafAids) media briefing session recently, Savadye called for a health budget that addresses the plight of students.

 

Savadye also noted that there was limited access to HIV counselling and testing facilities at universities with only Africa University, Bindura University and University of Zimbabwe offering such facilities.

 

She said most colleges only offered basic drugs such as paracetamol and MMT at their clinics.

 

“There is limited access to HIV- testing and counselling (HTC) services and psycho-social support for students living with HIV,” said Savadye.

 

“Most teenagers are under pressure to keep their status a secret, especially those in colleges and universities because they worry about what their peers will think of them.”

 

She said government policies and their implementation were not friendly to all youths citing an example of those with disability.

 

“Sadly, young people with disabilities are often left out of such programmes,” she said.

 

The Opportunity in Crisis, a report on preventing HIV during early adolescence to young adulthood released in June this year by UN agencies says young people worldwide face a significant risk of HIV infection every day.

 

It says reducing levels of incidence requires not a single intervention but a continuum of HIV prevention programmes that provides information and support services to adolescents and young people throughout the life cycle, from very young adolescents (aged 10 -14) through older adolescents (aged 15-19) to young adults (aged 20-24).

 

Savadye said despite the sharp drop in prevalence rate at national level new infections among the youth were still high.

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