Ntcheu DHO Registers 5000 Teen Pregnancies in a Year
The Ntcheu district health office says it registered at least 5,000 teen pregnancies in 2020, which is a sharp increase from about 1, 200 in the previous year.
Director of Health and Social Services for Ntcheu Dr. Stephen Macheso attributes the increase to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The numbers were registered in 24 health centers out of 39 facilities the district has. We need partners' intervention to help reduce the trend," Dr. Macheso said.
Meanwhile, Save the Children Malawi with funding from Save the Children Italy, compelled by the alarming figures, has trained 30 youths from four Traditional Authorities in Ntcheu to act as community-based distribution agents to help address the challenge of teen pregnancies.
The organization's Project Manager for Ntcheu, James Gausi says the youths have been drawn from T/A's Masasa, Ganya, Mkutumula, and Tsikulamowa respectively.
"We did a study where we found that a lack of Youth-friendly health services besides economic opportunities among youths in this period of Covid-19 pandemic contributes to the trends," Gausi said.
A youth representative from Senzani Youth Network, Ivy Mikuku says amidst Covid-19, a lot of youths were vulnerable in accessing family planning services hence the rise in teen pregnancies.