Par­ent-child com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­gramme bridges gaps

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - ADVERTORIAL -

THE Par­ent-Child Com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­gramme (PCC) has been ap­plauded for help­ing par­ents to ad­dress sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health is­sues amongst chil­dren.

In an in­ter­view with jour­nal­ists dur­ing a Na­tional AIDS Coun­cil (NAC) tour for jour­nal­ists to ap­pre­ci­ate the HIV sit­u­a­tion in Mashona­land Cen­tral prov­ince, NAC’s Shamva Dis­trict Co­or­di­na­tor Shep­herd Zanamwe said the pro­gramme is aimed at en­sur­ing that par­ents and chil­dren openly dis­cuss HIV, sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health is­sues and drug abuse which are some of the key is­sues af­fect­ing young peo­ple.

“The ini­tia­tive aims to close the gap be­tween adults and the young peo­ple so that they can share in­for­ma­tion on var­i­ous health re­pro­duc­tive is­sues ,”said Zanamwe.

The Zim­babwe AIDS Preven­tion and Sup­port Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ZAPSO) Shamva co­or­di­na­tor Cordel­lia An­drews said since the con­cept of aun­ties and un­cles was no longer in ex­is­tence the pro­gramme al­lows par­ents and chil­dren to be to­gether and dis­cuss var­i­ous is­sues and at the same time par­ents tak­ing time to un­der­stand the chal­lenges be­ing faced by chil­dren.

“Gen­der based vi­o­lence, drug and sex­ual abuse, child mar­riages and un­in­tended preg­nan­cies are some of the is­sues which are dis­cussed dur­ing ses­sions,” said An­drews.

Miss An­drews added that the pro­gramme is an ef­fec­tive tool in build­ing healthy fam­i­lies and solid re­la­tion­ships amongst chil­dren and par­ents. She added that since the in­cep­tion of PCC, fa­thers are able to dis­cuss with the girl child any is­sues af­fect­ing them.

An­drews added that through the PCC pro­gramme, par­ents and their chil­dren now have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the ef­fects of child mar­riages, HIV and un­in­tended preg­nan­cies.

“A sig­nif­i­cant de­cline has been noted even in in­ter­gen­er­a­tional sex and early child mar­riages as par­ents and chil­dren are now more equipped with in­for­ma­tion on these is­sues,” said An­drews.

An­drews also said they are also en­cour­ag­ing the girl child through the sis­ter to sis­ter pro­gramme to come up with in­come gen­er­at­ing pro­jects as a way of em­pow­er­ing them.

“We are en­cour­ag­ing them to set up money lend­ing clubs so that they will not be tempted to en­gage in in­ter­gen­er­a­tional sex and sex work”, said the ZAPSO co­or­di­na­tor. One of the vil­lagers Wadzanai Sun­day said through the pro­gramme men now have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the need to ad­dress gen­der based vi­o­lence which has be­come very com­mon amongst most homes. Chil­dren, es­pe­cially girls are now free to even re­port cases of rape which they pre­vi­ously did not re­port for fear of be­ing rep­ri­manded and also be­cause it was re­garded as taboo to dis­cuss sex­ual is­sues with par­ents. A fif­teen year old girl in the pro­gramme who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity said that she was in a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship but has since stopped it fol­low­ing the les­sons she re­ceived from the pro­gramme on dan­gers of early sex­ual de­but such as cer­vi­cal can­cer and early preg­nan­cies which can lead to ob­stet­ric fis­tula.

Moth­ers and daugh­ters dur­ing a par­ent-child com­mu­ni­ca­tion ses­sion in Shamva

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