Advocacy Group for Youth-Friendly SRH Responsive National Budget
Some youth groups operating under Sexual Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent (SRMNCAN) Youth Platform have called for re-alignment of national budget indicators as well as budget lines to allow the youth to effectively participate in budget and policy processes in the country.
The platform’s monitoring and evaluation officer Vincent Makuluni Thom says most youth programs are not being given the needed priority in terms of resource allocation resulting in most of the youth failing to access youth-friendly health services.
He was speaking recently in Lilongwe during an engagement with chairpersons of three parliamentary committees responsible for health, youth and the budget.
“Following our recent analysis of the current (2023/2024) national budget, we have established that there are a number of gaps, for example, inadequate resources toward youth friendly sexual reproductive health services which is affecting recruitment of required personnel in health facilities,” he said.
“There are also challenges in providing relevant capacity building initiatives towards the few health personnel that we are recruiting currently and this has led to increased complications such as unsafe abortions, child pregnancies,” he added.
Thom also said some ministries, such as the ministry of youth, receive budgetary allocations for youth programs but there is no clear channel for the youth to track utilization of the funds hence their engagement with the leadership of the three parliamentary committees.
Parliamentary committee on health chairperson Dr Mathews Ngwale said they have taken note of the concerns and they will ensure the issues are discussed in the august house.
“During our meetings in parliament we are going to recommend to the ministry of health to look into the issue of adding youth friendly-health services as a budget line.
Budget and finance committee of parliament chairperson Gladys Ganda and her youth committee counterpart Baba Steve Malondera also attended the meeting which was called to garner support of the legislators on the calls by the youth.