NAC wants permission to put condoms in schools

Published: June 18, 2011

THE National Aids Council (NAC) is proposing amendments to a number of laws that could see the distribution of condoms at schools as a way of fighting the Aids scourge.
 
NAC has identified about seven laws, which it wants amended to compliment its efforts. They include the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council Act.
 
 The law provides for the structure, functions and powers of ZNFPC, which include child spacing and fertility services, promotion and implementation of primary health care.
 
But NAC wants the Act amended so that “contraceptives be made readily available in schools…stipulate placing of condoms in hotels, night clubs and lodges”.
 
 Madeline Dube, the NAC information and communication director said the recommendations were made by a consultant hired to review HIV and Aids policies in Zimbabwe with a view of harmonising them.
 
 If the proposals are accepted, Zimbabwe will be following in the footsteps of South Africa, which in 2007 introduced the Children’s Act that gives children 12 years and older the right to access contraceptives.
 
Other recommendations that could spark debate in Zimbabwe’s conservative society include amending the Prisons Act to allow for routine HIV-testing on admission and on release from prison.
 
There are also calls to include sexual violence and rape in prisons as punishable offences.
 
Government has resisted calls to distribute condoms in prisons despite reports that homosexuality is rife.
 
Experts regard men having sex with men as one of the most vulnerable groups in HIV transmission.
 
NAC also wants a review of the Sexual Offences Act to “deal with homosexuality and prostitution in a programmatic way.”

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