By Pemphero Malimba:
Ntcheu District has recorded 2601 teen age pregnancies from January to April this year with 145 accessing post abortal care.
Ntcheu district hospital Nursing Officer Tionge Mkutumula says during the same period various health facilities in the district registered 1446 cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections among the 331,000 sexually active persons in the district.
She revealed this over the weekend during a youth open day organized by Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) under the N’zatonse phase 4 project at Nsiyaludzu in the area of Traditional Authority Makwangwala in the district.
“We are very much concerned to notice that even though we are putting so much measures for the youth to access family Planning services we are still having a huge number of teen age pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in the district,” she said.
Family Planning Association of Malawi Social Behaviour change and communication (SBCC) Lead Andrew Bishop Mkandawire says there is need for more efforts to end social norms that hinder young people from accessing youth health friendly services in the district.
“We have heard in some parts like in the areas of traditional authority Ganya and Mpando that parents are claiming that family Planning is for the adults and not for the adolescents and there are some cases where young people are castigated when they are seen at a mobile clinic meaning that young people still need to find a certain space where they can access these services,” Mkandawire said.
He was however happy to notice that parents and traditional leaders in some areas are opening up on youth access to various family Planning services like cervical cancer screening and HIV Testing.
Ntcheu district council chairperson councillor Joshua Kwachera reiterated the council’s commitment towards youth access to family planning services in the district.
Through the N’zatonse phase 4 project, Fpam focuses on reaching young people with family Planning services and other sexual reproductive health and rights, narrowing the gap between the service delivery point and the youth and community support through social behaviour change communication interventions.
FPAM is implementing N’zatonse project in Ntcheu and Neno district.