Mangochi district hospital Youth Friendly Health Services coordinator Gift Gomani has advised parents in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nankumba to allow the youth to access youth friendly health services to deal with early or unwanted pregnancies.
He made the appeal on Saturday at Nankhwali Primary School ground on the sidelines of a youth friendly health services awareness meeting Monkey-Bay based youth group Youth Take Action (YTA) organised.
Gomani said the 2016 Malawi Demographic Health Survey (MDHS) for Mangochi District indicated that only 31.5 percent of women aged 15-19 access family planning methods.
He said the survey also established that 76.2 percent of women aged 18-24 engage in sexual intercourse, surpassing the national figure of 59 percent.
“You can observe from the statistics that we are not doing well. The figures should challenge us to do something,” said Gomani.
He blamed parents for not being open with their children on sexual reproductive health (SRH) issues, saying this is fuelling early pregnancies, worsening school dropout rate and early marriages.
In his remarks, group village head Kamphande pledged to join hands with parents and other stakeholders to eliminate harmful cultural beliefs that are in conflict with family planning methods.
YTA is a youth group for Dzimwe Community Radio Station’s Health Policy Plus Project which it is implementing in partnership with Developing Radio Partners (DRP) and Population Reference Bureau (PRB) with funding from Usaid.