ZIMBABWE’S anti-coronavirus lockdown has had an unintended consequence: a spike in unwanted pregnancies as contraceptives became unavailable. The spread of HIV is looming too. 

“Even condoms that used to be free of charge are difficult to find in the villages,” says 46-year old Jabulani Zhou of Mberengwa in south-central Zimbabwe.

He already has eight children and now has four more on the way, as his three wives and a girlfriend are pregnant. Zhou is not sure how he will support 12 children, especially now that Zimbabwe’s economy has slowed.

His is not an isolated case. “Fighting unwanted pregnancies has become difficult for many people here as prices of birth control pills go beyond reach,” says Mucha Shumba, an official of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council in Mberengwa.

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