Mangochi youths feel short – changed on SRH services


Figures of youths accessing sexual reproductive health (SRH) services in Mangochi are said to be on the decrease as evidenced by the increase in teenage marriages and pregnancies, it has been established.

This development came to light recently when a delegation from health, education, gender and youth sectors toured Nankumba Health Centre in the area of Senior Chief Nankumba to appreciate the implementation of Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) policy in the district. The tour followed a four-day workshop organized by an organization called Palladium, which is advocating for the implementation of YFHS policy under a project called Health Policy Plus.

Senior Enrolled Nurse and Midwife at Nankumba Health Centre, Witness Nyirenda told the visiting delegation that latest delivery at the facility was of a 14 year old girl, which meant she became pregnant when she was slightly over 13.


“According to the experience I have had at this health centre, many youths in Mangochi do not have access to information on SRH. As a result, they land themselves into challenging situations regarding the same,” Nyirenda said.

Nyirenda’s revelation underscored what transpired during the workshop earlier that while the national percentage of girls marrying below the age of 18 years was 49.9 while Mangochi’s percentage was at 57.7 as per 2016 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS).

The MDHS also revealed that the percentage of girls having first sexual encounter at the age of 15 and 24 in Mangochi was 22, higher than the national figure of 13 percent.


Deputy Director of Nutrition, HIV and Aids in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Charles Mazinga described the situation as worrisome given that the

Gender Equality Act of 2013 promotes access to YFHS by young people.

“We need to reverse the situation and we need to see young people in the district and across the country being able to access these services,” said Mazinga.

Mazinga also urged organizations that were complementing government’s efforts in various programmes to utilize the media existing in the district to reach out to far and wider areas of the district.

He observed: “It is unfortunate that we continue to have negative reflections on a number of areas in Mangochi when the district is blessed with a number of community and national radios, besides the print media.

Mangochi District Hospital YFHS Coordinator, Gift Gomani concurred with Mazinga, saying the implementation of the policy required team work.

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