Gwanda State University drew a shocker at the National Universities Quiz Challenge held last October in Harare as the four year-old higher learning institution scooped the first prize against reputed giants among them University of Zimbabwe (UZ), National University of Science and Technology (NUST), and the Midlands State University (MSU).
The National Universities Quiz Challenge is an annual competition where participants drawn from 12 state universities across the country come together to exchange knowledge on public health, sexuality, and emerging environmental and health challenges.
The 3rd edition of the Quiz Challenge was running under the theme, “Securing the reproductive health of young people in the COVID-19 era.”
The theme is a call to both the authorities to be cognizant of young people’s sexual and reproductive health rights in the context of Covid19 induced lock downs, and also equip young people on how to navigate through the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Gwanda State University, the second runners-up at the 2nd edition of the competition, represented by Tadiwanashe Dhaka and Ashley Ncube, came determined to take the trophy home.
“Last time we fell short of becoming champions. It did not sit well with us. So, this time we came prepared to take the trophy home,” said Ashely.
“The competition was a knowledge gaining platform and funny too”, Dhaka weighed in.
“There were moments of tenseness. But above all, we have learnt a lot about sexual and reproductive health and also how the environment can impact access to public health services.”
The defending champions, Midlands State University came second.
The guest of honor, the Swedish deputy head of mission and head of development cooperation, Berthollet Kaboru, said supporting sexual and reproductive health rights for the young people is an important issue at global level.
“Sexual and reproductive health rights remain an important issue globally with it being explicitly in cooperated in the SDGs three, four and five,” Kaboru said.
“Sweden has a long history of prioritizing SRHR as part of its health, gender and human rights as well as sustainable development work and places great importance on SRHR working in countries across the world.
“SRHR is one of the 6 objectives of the Sweden foreign policy. Sweden also acknowledges that there are no valet or effective response without the inclusion of young people in their large diversity,” he said.
The National Coordinating Committee chairperson, Panashe Chandiwana, concurred with Kaboru on young people’s access sexual and reproductive health rights as a key towards attaining a generation of healthy young people.