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There are more male virgins than women

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MBABANE – There are more male virgins than female ones in the kingdom, the fourth and latest Multiple Cluster Index Survey (MICS) 2010 report has revealed.

The report was launched at the Mountain Inn yesterday, an event attended by Minister of Economic Planning and Development Prince Hlangusempi and United Nations Children and Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Swaziland Dr Jama Gulaid among others.

It is released every four to five years. The core objectives of the survey included providing decision makers with evidence on children’s women’s and vulnerable population’s rights, assessing the current situation of women and other vulnerable population to provide baseline for the country’s development priorities, and strengthening of national capacity in data collection and analysis.

In the section on HIV/AIDS and sexual behaviour, the survey showed that nationally, 55 per cent of women within the 15 to 24 years age bracket who had never got married, and 64 per cent of men of the same age bracket have never had sex before.

Partners

However, only a small proportion of youth aged 15-24 years had sex before age 15, and these are four per cent women and three per cent male.

The report also stated that sex with multiple partners was more common among men than women, in fact 15 per cent of men between 15 and 59 years had sex with more than one partner in the last 12 months, whereas only three per cent of women engaged in the same. However, 69 per cent of men reported to have used a condom and 73 per cent of women did the same.

"Nationally, almost all women and men (99 per cent) have heard of HIV. However, only 59 per cent of women and 55 per cent men have comprehensive knowledge about HIV transmission. More women know where to get tested for HIV than men, and the former also lead in getting tested," said the report.

Source

Meanwhile, speaking about the survey, Prince Hlangusempi approved the survey report as a worthy source in gauging the efforts of government.

He said the importance of timely and reliable statistics was very important and therefore statisticians were more challenged to give proper guidance in these economically challenging times.

"I urge all policymakers, programmers, data users, researchers and media to use the MICS results for evidence based decision making, analysis, budgeting and so on," he said.

38% of OVC go without one meal a day

MBABANE – A total of 38 per cent orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) do not enjoy one meal per day or have two pairs of clothing and also a pair of shoes.

According to the Multiple Cluster Index Survey (MICS) 2010 report, exploring the variations by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, urban residence is positively associated with the likelihood of having basic material needs met.

Children from the Hhohho region have the highest likelihood of having basic needs met, while those from Lubombo region have the lowest likelihood.

"Male children who are orphaned and or vulnerable are slightly less likely than their female counterparts to have basic material needs met.

"Older children (ages 15 to 17 years) were more likely to have their basic needs, material needs, met compared to those who are from five to 14 years," the report explained.

Dr Jama Gulaid, United Nations Children and Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Swaziland, said the survey was a rich source of information on the situation of vulnerable children. He noted that 45 per cent of children in the kingdom were orphaned or vulnerable.

Gulaid highlighted that the children’s welfare bill and other legislative instruments were indicative of government’s commitment.

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