BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
THE Ministry of Health yesterday revealed that Mashonaland West and Midlands’s provinces have the highest cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the country.
Presenting oral evidence before the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Child Care, deputy director for HIV/AIDS and STIs in the Ministry of Health Tsitsi Apollo said the country recorded 300 000 STI cases during the period 2019 to 2020 with the majority being from Midlands and Mashonaland West.
Apollo said the affected areas were mining areas which have a high influx of sex workers.
“Midlands and Mashonaland West have recorded the highest number of STIs in the country probably because they are mining towns,” she said.
Apollo also said the distribution of condoms had been greatly affected by movement because of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
“We still have high-risk sexual practices that need to be addressed. This could be largely due to shortages of condoms in 2019 and 2020,” Labode said.
“For urethra and vaginal discharges recorded in 2018 and 2019, the age band that recorded the highest was the 25 and 49 age group; most of these cases were coming from the Midlands province and Mashonaland west provinces.”
She added: “Moving on to genital ulcer diseases, there was a reduction from 35 000 in 2016 to 32 000 in 2019, most of these recorded among the 25 to 49 age groups affecting more males than females again Midlands province is leading followed by Mashonaland west,” said Apollo.
STIs are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites that are transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex as well as skin to skin genital contact.