Youths in Neno Demand Quality Heath Services
Scores of youths in the area of Senior Chief Dambe in Neno district took advantage of An Open Day for the youth organized by Partners in Heath to test for different diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.
One youth aged seventeen and has a child, Chisomo Dando, told Zodiak-online today Thursday that most youths in her area shy away from accessing family planning services due to long distances, unfriendly caregivers and lack of adequate information on available family planning services.
“These obstacles are affecting us much. We go through trouble times when delivering because our bodies are not mature enough to stand pregnancy, we ask for better and affordable family planning services within our reach", she called.
Antony Sandiyang'ane, Neno district Youth Friendly Heath Services Coordinator revealed that in Senior Chief Dambe alone, one hundred and twelve girls of below eighteen years of age have fallen pregnant from January to October 2020 hence a need for the youth to have access to family planning services.
"We ask government and other non-governmental organizations in the provision of health services to make it a policy for the youth to access quality health care services in our hospitals if we want to combat unwanted pregnancies", he said.
He notes that, some pregnancies are avoidable if the youth below the age of sixteen are guided by their parents in discussing and accessing family planning services as most youths nowadays are sexually active.
In his remarks, Neno district Youth Officer Hope Mwafulirwa said stakeholders need to intensify awareness campaigns as he notes that messages being preached on child abuses are falling on deaf ears.
"One hundred and twelve pregnancies in one Senior Chief within eight months of Covid-19 is a shocking news. These are Pregnancies registered in our health centers, what about unrecognized ones? We need to intensify awareness on the dangers of child abuses", he narrate.
Partners in Heath Community Health Director Basimenye Nhlema pleased with parents to open up on sexual matters now, saying the silence is contributing to myths on sexuality among the youth which is resulting in unwanted early pregnancies.
The Youth Open Day is being celebrated under the theme "Achinyamata Tengani Undindo Odziwa Zauchembere Wabwino" in partnership with Global Alliance of Canada, GRASSROOTSSOCCER, Partners In Heath and the Malawi government.