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1,628 babies born on Christmas Day

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A total of 1,628 were born on Christmas Day, statistics from the Ministry of Health show.

This year’s number of Christmas babies is 228 more than the 1,400 recorded last year.

Of the total, 793 are males while 835 are females.

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Lilongwe has produced the highest number of babies at 258 with Likoma recording the lowest number at 1.

Lilongwe is followed by Blantyre with 111 Christmas babies while 96 were born in Mangochi.

Family Planning Association of Malawi Executive Director Donald Makwakwa Tuesday said it would be tricky to draw quick conclusions on reasons for the jump in Christmas babies.

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Makwakwa said the births might have been planned or not and added that the full picture could be obtained by interacting with the mothers so that they could shed some light on their pregnancies.

He said in the event that the pregnancies were not planned, it could be an indicator of lack of access to contraceptives.

Talking in general terms, Makwakwa said the country has a growing problem of teen pregnancies, which is an indicator that the age group is not accessing contraceptives.

Malawi is said to be one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with the highest total fertility rates. On the other hand, the country is said to have a higher contraceptive prevalence rate.

Health researchers suggest that as a direct policy measure, information, education and communication programmes on family planning among poor and middle income women, and all women in reproductive ages, should be strengthened.

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