Girls, NGOs Push for Consolidation of Policies
Some girls and non-governmental organizations have singled out failure by authorities to consolidate sexual reproductive health policy and education policy as a major factor fueling unplanned teenage pregnancies in the country.
The girls, Mervis Chakamba from Bangwe, Novahiwa Kumtenga from Chilaweni in Blantyre and Regional Psycho Social Support Initiative, REPSSI, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Constantine Mitengo, think the consolidation can assist to remove barriers that are preventing girls from accessing sexual and reproductive services in schools.
“We are still experiencing a lot of pregnancies among girls. we are now demanding the consolidation of Sexual Reproductive Health and education policies in order to improve the uptake of contraceptives among teenage girls,” said Chakamba and Kumtenga.
This was revealed during an audience with mother groups from Ngumbe and Chilaweni CDSS and interface meeting with duty bearers organized by Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative, REPSSI and Young Women Christian Association.
Mitengo has also echoed the girls' sentiments.
“Let us all work to protect the girl child,” said Mitengo.
But Ministry of Education spokesperson Chikondi Chimala insists that the current environment is conducive for girls in Malawi to access contraceptives.
"We have been working together with the ministry of health to ensure that girls have information and services to uplift their lives. We now have Youth Friendly Health Services in various parts of the country where girls can go and access contraceptives among others," said Chimala.
Meanwhile, Blantyre Youth Officer Gertrude Fransisco Chibaka has conceded that many teenage girls are still subjected to unplanned pregnancies, forced marriages and suicide cases.