Zamboanga: CHO steps up HIV, teenage pregnancy advocacies


The City Health Office (CHO) is doubling down on the implementation of its reproductive health programs in the grassroots communities as it grapples with cases of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and rising teenage pregnancies in Zamboanga City.

City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite recently disclosed that Zamboanga City recorded 79 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases and three deaths for the first semester of 2023.

Through the CHO’s Reproductive Health and Wellness Center, gonorrhea and syphilis cases were also documented.

“Lately, we recorded numbers of gonorrhea and syphilis cases, especially with the age group of 18-30 years old,” Dr. Miravite said.

Teenage pregnancy is also a prevailing concern as Dr. Miravite affirmed that the city has one of the highest number of cases in the region, prompting the CHO to intensify its youth, adolescent, and reproductive health programs and to strengthen partnerships to inform and educate all sectors of the community.

“We would really want to go down to the grassroots and really have our students, our purok leaders, kagawads, and barangay officials know about our program so they would be able to inform and do activities in their communities,” Dr. Miravite said during the launch of the Take The Safe Sex Pledge program in Tetuan, August 31.

The activity was spearheaded by the Department of Health with the CHO and the Barangay and SK Tetuan.

“With activities like these, we would like to address these issues, and tell people that we have a program [Reproductive Health and Wellness Center], they have a place, an office to go to if they have problems or if they want to consult,” Dr. Miravite said as she encouraged residents to speak and consult with the CHO and their barangay health workers.

The health officer likewise highlighted the importance of assessment and counselling in reproductive health.

“We have to do assessment, we have to do counselling, if ever there is a problem that has to be addressed. Contraception comes later, that’s not the first thing. Ang gusto natin, yung layunin talaga natin is to assess muna kung ano ang kailangan ng adolescent,” Dr. Miravite explained. (Jasmine Mohammadsali, photo courtesy by Kathy Wee Sit)

(Source: City Government of Zamboanga Facebook page)

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