Machinga Youths Worried over Lack of SRH Knowledge among Duty Bearers
Youths in the area of Senior Chief Chiwalo in Machinga have cited lack of knowledge among some duty bearers on sexual reproductive health rights as a challenge that continues to affect access to sexual reproductive health services and justice among them.
Chairperson for Chawalo Youth Network, Lukia Nkhoma reveals that they are mistreated by health personnel whenever they seek medical assistance in the two health facilities of Nainunje and Ntaja that surround the area.
Nkhoma who was presenting a scorecard findings to different stakeholders including Machinga district council officials, group village heads, police and child protection authorities at a meeting initiated by Break Free project which is under a partnership of SAT Malawi, Forum for Women Educationalists in Malawi (FAWEMA) and Plan International.
She calls a redress in delays in completing cases and corruption among some police officers and in community victim support.
“We face a burden to access justice whenever a girl has been impregnated because we still have some officers who rush to cover up perpetrators. This is the same in hospitals where we have noticed medical personnel have a bad attitude towards youths who want to access services,” said Nkhoma.
Machinga district health office spokesperson, Wongani Nyirenda says his office is disappointed with the practice of the alleged health officers, which he says will engage them to address the matter.
“Our office is disappointed with what we have heard today, the youths deserve to receive each and every service meant for them without denial,” he said.
Nselema police post officer, Assistant Superintendent Robert Chakwiya has conceded the presence of corruption but says he will provide a lecture to his officers to assist in creating a good relationship with the public.
Break Free Country coordinator, Judith Pangani has asked duty barriers to make headway in applying what the youth have highlighted.
Pangani says so far Break Free project has helped to improve the percentage of adolescents who are utilizing sexual reproductive health services including modern contraceptives with figures indicating that 33 000 are now receive their service at the two health facilities, a rise from 23 000.