A few weeks ago, newspapers, TV and radio stations carried stories about flood victims, who have been camping in some parts of the Shire Valley, scrambling for Reproductive Health Services (RHS), including condoms.
There have also been reports about high risks of pregnancy and HIV and Aids in the camps where the victims stay.
One may wonder why the need for RHS considering that different people share blankets and mats in the camps, which makes it difficult for married people to exercise their conjugal rights.
These people are also traumatised as they go through hard times after losing their property, friends and relatives due to the disasters.
Then why the concern about condoms when there are important matters such as food and other basic needs to care about?
Communications officer in the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) Jeremiah Mphande said government through the department ensures that people going through various kinds of disasters are not risking their health as they wait in camps and other secure places provided.
“We put aside sections to handle various issues affecting the displaced people. There is, for instance, the health section which, among others, looks at the reproductive health of the people. The aim is to ensure that the health and lives of these people are not at risk because anything can happen in the camps. The measure also controls the spread of STIs in such places,” said Mphande.
In his remarks, one of the country’s psychologists, Chiwoza Bandawe, explained that people would want to normalise their life when going through trauma.
“When people go through trauma and disasters like floods, their lives are gravely affected. Some may lose property or suffer mental challenges. These people would want to get back to their normal lives where one is not only concerned about food and clothes. Exercising conjugal rights is thus another way of getting their life back to normal as they try to find more ways of dealing with the trauma,” said Bandawe.