Rundu — The Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA) on Friday introduced a youth-friendly health mobile clinic van that will complement its services in both Kavango East and Kavango West regions.
The new mobile clinic will serve the youth of the two regions regarding sexual and reproductive health.
The mobile clinic van will visit places that are far from the NAPPA clinic, which was opened in Rundu in 2014 in Nkarapamwe location of Rundu with the aim to cater to the youth in the region.
Considering the fact that youths are scattered around distant areas around the two Kavango regions the move to bring in the truck is for youths out of town to access it for check-ups and tests without the trouble of going to government clinics at their villages where they might not be comfortable sometimes due to the set-up. Kavango East Regional Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo during the handover on Friday urged learners and other youths to maximise the services offered by NAPPA.
"I call upon young people of this region to fully access services through the mobile van that we are about to receive today," Mbambo implored the youth.
"You may be aware that our region is facing a tough battle against teenage pregnancy. Our young people endure immense challenges when it comes to accessing youth-friendly reproductive health services and at some places they cannot go there just because of the set-up. So with the mobile van that is being handed over to us today we expect to see some improvements in the young people accessing health services from outreaches," he added.
Some learners who witnessed the handover said they have a "good feeling" because it will spread knowledge on sexual reproductive health at schools and they can also openly visit the mobile van once they see it at their school or village.
"We are happy for the mobile clinic as it will go around to schools to educate teenagers on sexual and reproductive health as well as do testing, but despite having this mobile clinic I would like to encourage young girls to abstain from sex," said Violet Naingwendje a learner from Rundu Senior Primary School.
Apart from NAPPA, the mobile clinic van will be used by stakeholders the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, and Ministry of Health and Social Services to visit schools and places around the two Kavango regions on request. Schools can request for the van to be stationed for a day or two at their school to offer services to learners and so on.
"As young people we must stop involving ourselves in sexual acts, but if there are those that are already involved they can go to any NAPPA clinic or the mobile van to get assistance and also get tested - and if they test HIV positive they will get help right away. This is a good initiative because now at least it will be easier for the young people to access the NAPA services," said Mushongo Celestinus, a learner at Dr Alpo Mbamba Junior Secondary School in Rundu.
NAPPA offers services to the youths such as HIV testing and HIV counselling, family planning, HIV screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, sexuality education and much more.