Zimbabwe: Providing Adolescents with Comprehensive Sexual Education in Kadoma City

Date: August 30, 2019
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Knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS and condom use increased. Knowledge of STI Treatment and access to treatment services increased among adolescents. Access to family planning services and knowledge on reproductive health services was given and well received by the adolescents. Sources of information on sexual reproductive health and where to get help was issued.

According to exploratory studies of life skills, sexual maturation and sanitation carried out in Zimbabwe there had been a serious adolescent’s downward trend in access, participation and completion rates in school, Barret and Katz (2002). Kadoma is facing a challenge of recording higher cases of adolescence pregnancies, STIs and new HIV infection and recording a minimum of 20 to 33 adolescents per month between the age of 14 to 19 years booking for antenatal care and this is evidence of low access to family planning services. Information provided at the antenatal clinic shows that 40% of adolescent girls are being impregnated by their peers. The (ZNFPC) proposed the provision of contraceptives to adolescents since they are sexually active and it was rejected by the Minister for Health claiming that culturally it is unacceptable, Sunday mail (September 2013). Kadoma was not spared of the above problems hence the limited knowledge levels on reproductive health rights and issues were noticed among the adolescents. Thus this project set to guide adolescents understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives and consider how their choices affect their own well-being and that of others.

Key Actions

  • Kadoma City is a Gender Centre of excellence which works with Gender Links in an effort to develop Gender awareness policies and implementing activities that contribute to the fulfilment of SADC protocol on Gender.
  • Adolescents engagement.
  • Awareness and sensitisation.
  • Capacity Building.
  • Advocacy
  • Formulation of gender policies
  • Formulation of sex education policies
  • Conducting sexual health educational sessions.
  • Monitoring and evaluation.


  • Kadoma City Council (KCC).
  • Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC).
  • Kadoma Youth for Development (KYFD).
  • Ministry of Youth and Gender Empowerment.
  • District Aids Council (D.A.C).
  • Family Aids and Care trust (F.A.C.T).
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  • Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC).
  • World Health Organisation (WHO).


  • Gender mainstreaming.
  • Implementation of a Sexual Health Education Policy.
  • Collaborative efforts with relevant partners.
  • Conducting awareness campaigns and health -centre as well as schools.
  • Adolescents School Clubs.
  • Establishing adolescent and youth friendly centres.
  • Providing access to free healthcare (preventive, treatment and post care).
  • Specialised care for adolescents.
  • Supporting more effective approaches through the adolescent health, teen pregnancy prevention.
  • Program, the Centres for Disease Control.
  • Prevention’s (CDC), Division of Adolescent.
  • School Health and the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF), Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).


  • Religious and cultural barriers: church and community leaders’ engagement.
  • Low political support: engaging ward councillors, mayor, mayor of parliament and senators.
  • Fewer resources: resources mobilisation from partners.
  • Lack of coordination between partners: implementing collective approach.

Immediate results and next steps

  • Adolescents embraced the programme.
  • Adaptation of policies by adolescents, churches, leaders and health centres
  • Multiple Stakeholder participation

Long term Impact

  • Empowered adolescents.
  • Healthy adolescents in terms of fewer STIs, HIV new infections, pregnancies and abortions recorded.
  • High retain and completion of school among adolescents
  • Significant effects on psychosocial outcomes relative to a basic sex education.
  • Longer-term effects on students’ sexual behaviours.

Learning and how this will be applied

  • Comprehensive sexual health education is effective as it provides adolescents with age-appropriate and phased education on human rights, gender equality, relationships, reproduction, sexual behaviours.
  • Risks and prevention of ill health. It also provides an opportunity to present sexuality with a positive.
  • Approach, emphasizing values such as respect, inclusion, non-discrimination, equality, empathy, responsibility and reciprocity.

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