According to Bulawayo provincial first quarter statistics from the National Aids Council (Nac), 147 primary and secondary school pupils dropped out of school during the first quarter of this year.
Pupils dropped out due to pregnancy, marriage and financial constraints. Nac says most of the children dropped out of school due to financial challenges while primary school pupils are the worst affected. Of the 147 pupils that dropped out, 23 girls dropped out of school due to pregnancy and marriage. One primary school pupil was among those that were pregnant. Seven girls were forced out of secondary school due to marriage and only one pupil dropped out of school due to illness.
According to the same report, STI cases rose from 2 163 to 2 214 during the same period. New STI cases in Bulawayo are concentrated in the 20 to 49 years age group. Young women in the age group 15 to 19 reported three times more new STI cases than the young men in the same age group, confirming intergenerational sexual relationships.