Parents Key on SRHR Information Sharing
The Salima District Youth Office says there is still a growing need for concerted efforts towards addressing high cases of teen pregnancies in the Lakeshore districts where most girls are carried away by fishermen and tourists.
Assistant District Youth Officer for Salima Pearson Malinda said this on Monday when Malawi Girl Guide Association handed over push bikes to Community structures in Salima with support from UNFPA under the UN Joint Programme on Girls Education.
Malinda said most girls in the lakeshore district have been dropping out of school for early pregnancies in some cases early marriages attributing it to a lack of information on sexuality which remains a taboo to be talked about in communities.
“In Salima, early marriages and teen pregnancies is an issue, we were attributing it to Covid 19 some months ago, but this issue has been there, that is why we have had different interventions to address this with different stakeholders and more needs to be done,” said Malinda.
Malawi Girl Guides Association MAGGA Regional Commissioner for the centre Maggie Bandawe Nzunga meanwhile says there is a need to intensify engagement with parents so that they understand the need for them to be talking about Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights issues with their children to address the challenge.
It is for this reason according to the MAGGA commissioner, her organization with support from UNFPA in the UNJPGE Programme they are promoting the Parents Child Community facilitator concept, hence the bicycles given to the facilitators.
“We are expecting our girls and young women to be able to enjoy their rights on sexual and reproductive health rights as they will be reached with information so that they can now be able to see the need to remain in school other than getting married,” Bandawe Nzunga said.
One of the Parents Child Community Facilitators from the area of Traditional Authority Maganga in Salima, a recipient of the bicycle says the initiative of engaging parents seems to be working perfectly.
“Most parents have been neglecting their responsibility of advising their children more especially girls that they were playing around with fishermen who make money daily, in the end, being impregnated at a tender age,” he said.
The UNJPGE Programme is in its third phase which will run from 2021 to 2024 in Dedza, Salima and Mangochi where MAGGA is also taking part.