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REPORTS that more adolescents are becoming infected with HIV in Kafue are worrying.

If there are more youths becoming infected with HIV in Kafue, then we shudder to imagine what could be pertaining in other areas.

This is because Kafue is quite a small district compared to its neighbour Lusaka, which is also the country’s capital city.

It is important though that efforts are stepped up in Kafue to ensure that this problem is tackled head on.

Kafue District Adolescent Coordinator Charity Bwalya has expressed concern with the escalating HIV infections among the youth in the district.

Speaking at the Adolescent quarterly stakeholders meeting in the district, Ms. Bwalya said it is worrying that HIV infections and teen-age pregnancies continue to rise among young people 

Ms. Bwalya said there was a need to establish why HIV infection keeps rising and to come up with strategies that will help to address the scourge.

“HIV infections have continued to increase despite the intervention that is being done by government and other stakeholders, where is the problem?” said Ms. Bwalya.

Ms Bwalya and her colleagues are quite right to express their concern over this worrying trend.

If anything, HIV infections are not supposed to be on the rise considering the mass of literature available on how one could protect themselves from getting infected. 

It is obvious that Ms Bwalya and her peers must also get through to parents, that they be included in the sensitisation programme.

Parents should always play an active role in raising their children and not leave this important facet to social media.

To this end, we agree with Kafue District Adolescent Health Champion Jomo Banda who has attributed the rise in HIV infections and teenage pregnancies to poor parenting.

Mr. Banda said many parents are preoccupied with their work at the expense of grooming their children.

“We have a lot of absentee parents, and many children are growing up without guidance from their parents.

Mr. Banda said some parents do not have time to talk about sexual matters with their children which has led to the escalating number of infections among the adolescents.

Yet, it is important that parents, particularly Zambians changed this perception, and not regard it as taboo to discuss sexual matters with their children.

They must stress to their children the importance of leading healthy life styles by encouraging them to be active in sports.

This is the more reason why local authorities should ensure that they provide social amenities, particularly sports centres where the adolescents could nurture their hidden talents.

It is not just enough for Ms Bwalya and her colleagues to be moaning about the escalating HIV infection rates.

They need help from the councils to ensure community centres are set up to enable young people stay away from destructive social activities. 


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