Posted April 15, 2013on:
Posted April 15, 2013on:
Young people, youth leaders and SRHR experts added their voices and recommendations to the review of the revised National Youth Policy draft document in regards to the SRHR content.
The platform to engage young people was provided through the National Youth Council of Malawi - http://www.nycommw.org/ with funding from Southern AIDS Trust ; with a focus on SRHR for adolescents and youth as this is a thematic area within the policy.
young people participated in this process through a live public debate on Zodiack broadcasting station – text messages from the general public were also part of it. following this a youth leaders meeting from various districts and at different levels in youth work facilitated effective but broaden consultation – from youth that the policy will serve but also as implementors of SRHR programmes on the ground. Also youth voices were collected through various social media discussions. The consultations finished with an expert meeting which included key government Ministries, NGO’s , partners, and youth SRHR experts.
Key issues raised were :
lack of comprehensive information on SRHR, limited parental involvement in ASRHR, provider attitudes and biases to adolescents and youth – youth are discouraged to use and seek contraceptives methods, youth friendly health services sites must go beyond the provision of condoms and provide wide range of commodities to its clients, lack of negotiating powers among girls, limited accessible youth friendly health services
Key issues to be included in the policy -
Commodity security and resources for SRHR and HIV services adolescent health as a budget line item with the health budget in the National budget.
Comprehensive accessible youth friendly SRHR information to be emphasized, gender based violence in relation to SRHR issues, Government to support the design, establishment, implementation of a comprehensive adolescent and youth SRHR national program, strengthen youth friendly health services and provision of these services, Youth living with HIV , youth with disabilities and VMMC.
The policy needs to reflect the role that the community and the chiefs should play including parental counseling on issues of SRHR and HIV. It should also re-position early on adolescents in access and being reached with SRHR programs
Harmonise other policies as sometimes contradict each other on SRHR – Education policy vs contraceptive distribution and other services within the schools.
Other key stakeholders in the process were Ministry of Youth, ministry of Health – directorate of reproductive health.
Posted April 8, 2013on:
The first part of the 100 conversations for change campaign focuses on exploring the lives of young women at a personal level. We explore the uniqueness of women, as they share on their character, life experiences, aspirations and sources of motivation.
Young women are valuable, and this should form the basis of the decisions of development partners to invest in their growth and success.
South East African Mining (SEAM) through its subsidiary South East African Mining Exploration (SEAMEX) is exploring for gold and base metals in South Dwangwa, central Malawi. The company also has exploration licences for two blocks in north Malawi (Chitipa-Kameme and Misuku).
In August 2012, the company revealed it would begin with exploratory drilling on two sites in cooperation with Portuguese multidisciplinary engineering group Mota-Engil, following initial rock and soil sampling.
This post, written by Jeff Meer, originally appeared on the PHI website and is available here.
The UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) holds its annual meeting from March 4 – 15 at the UN headquarters in New York. This year, approximately 3,000 women and men from around the world will attend. The priority theme for this year’s meeting is “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” Public Health Institute (PHI), which is an accredited NGO, is sending a small delegation to the meeting, including representatives from PHI projects…
Happy International Women’s day – A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.
Posted March 8, 2013on:
Men, boys, women, girls we all have our roles to play - time we walked the talk , translated the promises, anxiety, frustrations into actions, that will keep the ball rolling and blow in a new wind that will champion equality and justice in our communities.
Lets not speak in our inner space, but out in the open, lets engage each other, when violence is perpetrated the whole community suffers and bleeds.
Time to act and collaborate is now:
I want to walk down the streets without fear of being stripped of my clothes because someone feels it’s the right thing to do
I want to see perpetrators of violence brought to justice and not glorified as heroes
I want to see victims of violence access the services and support they need to stand on their feet and BE
I want statements of positive change muttered by politicians on women and girls to translate into policy and implemented as core part of our community
I want to ran, walk , be and not fear that I will be a victim of sexual or physical violence
I want communities and families to be supportive of their young women when acts of violence happen to them and not ask – so what did you do to let this happen to you?
I want survivors of violence to be celebrated and to claim their space
I want to be me
Mostly I want young women to claim their spaces, I shout we are here and we are taking action - shake the confirms of our society
I am woman , and I take my stand by making a promise to provide safe space for young women to speak, claim their rights and take action while building their capacity as advocates of change.
I intend to make a change, difference in my space- if I do not voice my thoughts and take action I shall suffer in silence and I myself become a perpetrator of violence.
Today we rise, we smile, we stand in solidarity and make a pledge to make the change.
What is CHOICE, why emphasis of CHOICE , does its meaning change with each context or do its basics stay the same, Who controls CHOICES of young people and adolescents in regards to family planning/contraceptives use? This is the bundle of questions I have been asking myself and some providers of health sexual reproductive health services and youth friendly health services for the past couple of weeks.
All family planning programs are shrouded and have a central point that is CHOICE ; the right of the client to choose a family planning method they want and if they want to use family planning; for Malawi the goals below are what guides any SRH/FP, Youth Friendly Health services program in the country -
Malawi’s Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Policy programme goal is to provide a framework for provision of accessible , acceptable and affordable comprehensive SRHR services to all women, men and young people of Malawi through informed choice to enable them to attain their reproductive rights and goals safely.
Two of the ten guiding principles of the SRHR policy include:
Human Rights Based Approach and Equity which states that ………..the rights of the health care users and their families, providers and support staff shall be respected and protected.
Accountability: all stakeholders shall discharge their respective mandates in a manner that takes full responsibility for the decision made in the course of providing health care
Family Planning goal for Malawi is to reach unmet need for family planning services, unintended pregnancies as well as socio economic disparities in contraceptive use through provision of voluntary comprehensive family planning services at all levels to all men, women and young people of reproductive age.
Youth friendly Health Services are defined as high quality services that are relevant, accessible, attractive, affordable, appropriate and acceptable to the young people.
All these highlight CHOICE - meaning that if choice is not available or promoted then the programs are not attaining what they stand for and the clients rights to SRH/family planning is denied.
Malawi in the past years has made gains and introduced innovative models on targeting youth with messages and services on sexual reproductive health; currently 250,000+ Malawian women aged 15–19 are mothers or are pregnant (26%) how best can we promote contraceptive use amongst adolescents and youth while keeping CHOICE at the center of the program?
I would like to recommended providers and youth community based distribution agents that are passionate and efficient in serving the needs of adolescents and youth in their communities with quality care.
However in the past weeks I have heard stories about adolescents and CHOICE, two of these stories got me thinking the most:
A 15 year old girl who is currently studying and is in form 4 was taken to their nearest health center by her mother, the mother instructed the provider to give her daughter a 3 months injectable to prevent pregnancy. The provider did as the mother asked, the provider did not counsel the adolescent girl to explain the family planning methods available and ask if she wanted to use any of the methods. The right to CHOICE was taken from girl, the mother said all of her daughters friends are pregnant and she doesn’t want her daughter to also become pregnant too hence the need for the injectable.
A 13 year old girl who is sexually active and lives in an urban township that has high cases of teen pregnancies was a health facility by her mother and advised the provider to insert an implant in her arm. As with the first case the adolescent girls opinion and choice were neglected.
How acceptable was this service to the adolescent girls?
Others can argue that the mothers were justified in their actions however WHO ARE WE TO DECIDE AND CHOOSE FOR OUR ADOLESCENTS? and erode the foundation that SR/family planning and youth friendly health services are built and championed on.
If you were one of the girls highlighted what would be your attitude towards contraception?