Steve Kalungwe

Steve Kalungwe

An international women's rights body, JUST ASSOCIATES (JASS) has expressed concern over the limited delivery of messages meant to counter gender-based violence due to Covid-19 public gathering restrictions.

Communities of Lisungwi in Neno district have for about three years now been forced to travel 28 kilometers of a bad shaped-earth road to access X-ray services at the district’s heath facility.

Amid concerns of growing charcoal business and how the product finds its way into the major cities of the country, Police in Neno district have impounded a lorry carrying over one hundred bags of charcoal.

The National Planning Commission (NPC) has urged district council's in the country to embrace Malawi 2063 in a drive to emancipate the country out of poverty through wealthy creation.

Neno South Constituency Parliamentarian, Mark Katsonga, has called for inclusion of persons with disability in COVID-19 interventions.

NGO Coalition on Child Rights (NGO-CCR) has condemned government for its unexplained decision to bar Prophet Shepard Bushiri's daughter from traveling abroad for specialized medical attention as recommended by local doctors.

Malawi Red-Cross Society (MRCS) in Neno district has made available some personal protective equipment such as face masks, hand sanitizers, soap and Covid-19 prevention booklets to its one thousand one hundred and twenty one Scaling Up Nutrition promoters, cluster leaders and male champions.

Malawi Scotland Partnership in conjunction with Tikambe Youth organization in Mwanza district has planted 1, 000 in the area of Senior chief Nthache where its forest, Thambani, has been depleted.

An international health promotion organization working in Neno district, Partners in Health, has graduated four hundred and ten adolescents in Gender, HIV and AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) in a bid to be agents of change as they grow.

P.I.H Adolescents and Women Health Program Specialist Jimmy Harare told Zodiak Online on Wednesday that a lot of youths are lacking skills on how to protect themselves from harmful practices hence introducing the initiative in all Neno district health centres.

"We noted a sharp rise in cases of child marriages, teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among the adolescents and this was being attributed to knowledge gap on available prevention measures," said Jimmy.

Harare further said P.I.H with funding from Global Affairs of Canada (GAC) introduced the SkillsBLA ( Bwala Lachinyamata) which is to run for five years in all health centers of Neno district where coaches will be trained to lecture adolescents on how their bodies respond to the environment as they grow.

"The coaches are there to take the adolescents who are between the age bracket of ten to fourteen, through a curriculum of gender, HIV and AIDS and Reproductive health for four months, this curriculum is designed to help the Adolescents have knowledge of their bodies," he said.

One of the adolescent Phonex Chakwamba said the training has helped him gain self-esteem withing the four months he has been with his fellow adolescents.

"Am now able to know how to respond to harmful practices which my fellow adolescents would want to drag me into, we are using both verbal and nonverbal rejection methods, they are working", he said.

Neno District Youth Officer Hope Mwafulirwa who graced the graduation ceremony urged the adolescents to take the skills learnt into practice saying school closure due to Covid-19 may result in temptations to the youths to start indulging in premarital sexual affairs.

Construction works of Neno Integrated Youth Centre are said to be behind schedule as sports and youth minister Ulemu Msungama says the delay is frustrating efforts of creating jobs for youths.

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