The Ministry of Health has said Malawi’s population could hit over 30 million by 2030 if people will not embrace family planning methods in earnest.
Speaking at Dedza during a Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Neo-natal Health (RBF4MNH) facilities tour by Paramount Chief Gomani V, Director of Planning and Policy Development in the Ministry of Health, Dalitso Kabambe, said chiefs and traditional leaders should get involved in family planning by coming up with by-laws that restrict or delay the youth from becoming sexually active early.
“If chiefs do not come up with deliberate by-laws and penalties to deter the youth from getting sexually active early, estimates show our population could hit the 30 million mark by 2030, thereby putting a strain on the already-scarce resources in the country,” he said.
Kabambe also said the RBF4MNH initiative should demonstrate that it is possible to have safe deliveries at the hands of skilled workers whilst managing the population by encouraging women to use more family planning methods.
Director of Reproductive Health in the Ministry of Health, Fanny Kachale, said the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has a lot of resources on family planning which district hospitals can access.
“The CMST has resources worth over K16 billion out of which are K8 billion worth family planning methods women can access which shows Malawi government’s commitment towards population management,” she said.
Kachale also said there should be collective responsibility in mobilising people to embrace more family planning methods if population management is to be achieved.
RBF4MNH programme chairman, Paramount Chief Gomani V, said harmful cultural practices that promote early marriages should be discouraged or completely abandoned to manage the population.
“The RBF4MNH initiative is not only encouraging safe delivery by rewarding results of women delivering at health facilities but also ensuring the women consume family planning information so that they do not fall pregnant again in the earliest time possible,” Paramount Gomani said.
He said people should understand the importance of having smaller manageable families that would not be a strain on economic growth. Chief Gomani V has been on a tour of health facilities implementing RBF4MNH, which is an initiative of the Malawi Government with funding from the German and Royal Norwegian governments.
The participating districts in the programme include Mchinji, Balaka, Ntcheu and Dedza.
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