Get Free Sexual Reproductive Health Information and Services

Are  you  Malawian, young  and below  the  age  of  25 years?

Did  you  know  you  can access  free  Sexual and  Reproductive  Health Services  in government  health  facilities and  through social marketing  organizations   and   local  NGOs that implement  sexual and  reproductive health  services? 

  • Government  health facilities  provide  free services to all Malawians including  Sexual and Reproductive  Health  services & contraceptives  to all  people of reproductive age
  • With  increased  government’s  commitment  to  Sexual  and  Reproductive  Health  especially  the  re-positioning  of  family planning  as a key strategy  for  addressing  Malawi’s  rapid  population  growth  characterized  by high adolescent  pregnancies. The  government  of  Malawi  also made  a commitment in July  2012  at the London Family Planning  summit;

With the goal of “no parenthood before adulthood,” Malawi committed to raising the country’s contraceptive prevalence rate to 60% by 2020 with a focused increase in those aged 15 to 24. 

  • Banja  La  Mstongolo has  been  providing sexual and reproductive health services in Malawi since 1987. BLM aims to address maternal mortality while combating HIV/AIDS and unsafe abortion by ensuring that women have access to options in family planning, and the tools and knowledge necessary for preventing HIV infection; with emphasis on the provision of long-acting and permanent methods.

Did  you  know  that through  their  clinics across the country BLM provides FREE Sexual  and  Reproductive  Health  services  including comprehensive sexual reproductive health counseling and contraceptives to young people below the age  of  25.  

  • Family Planning  Association of  Malawi  FPAM is a member Association of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).  FPAM works towards a world where women, men and young people everywhere have control over their own bodies, and therefore their destinies.  10547793_956693741009673_6291110063310434738_o

FPAM  provides  FREE  contraceptive services  to young people  through  their  clinics  and  youth  life  centres  in  Kawale – Lilongwe,  Dowa, Kasungu, Ntcheu, Dedza and  Mangochi. 

PSI  Malawi  in partnership with Ministry  of  Health  – HEU have  a  321 call service  that  provides  information (on health, agriculture & gender through airtel numbers only).  Young  people  can use  this  service  to learn  more about  HIV and  Contraception in  a  timely, private  and  confidential  manner   through  one’s  mobile  phone; making  it  an effective  and  accessible  source  of  information.

Through  interpersonal  communication agents affiliated  to  PSI  Malawi  social franchise network TUNZA  Clinics;  they  provide  vouchers  to their  community  clients  that  they  can use  to access free  contraceptives services from  a TUNZA  clinic in their  community.

These  partnerships  for  SRH and  family planning  are  leveraging  the  reach,  access  and  utilization  of  Sexual Reproductive  Health  services  including  HTC  and  long  acting  reversible contraceptives  by young people. This initiative of providing  free  contraceptive services to  youth  recognizes  the  critical need  of  providing  wide  range  of  contraceptives  to  young  people enabling  young  people  to make voluntary informed  choice  on the contraceptive  methods  they  want to use  according  to  their   stage  in  their  life cycle.

These  three  organization are supporting  government in strengthening Youth  Friendly Health Services including HIV and  AIDS components  to  effectively  delivery information and  services  to young  people.

if  you are  a  young person  looking for  information and  services  regarding your  sexual  reproductive  health  Remember to use the 321 call service,  services  are  provided  for  you  for  free  at  Service  Delivery  Points  in the  highlighted  and  affiliated  facilities.  Choose to learn more  and  prevent  unintended  pregnancy, HIV and AIDS,  STI infections  IT IS IN YOUR  HANDS

Youth groups  can also mobilize  their  members  and youth in the  community to access and utilize  these  services fully.

Why  not  try  the  services  today “available and FRee”

Do you know the key Youth Reproductive Health Facts for Malawi?

In #Malawi  one in every three persons is between 10 – 24 years (5 million youth)

Indicator Status Source
Early Sexual Debut ·22% of boys and 14% of girls have had sex by age 15

·20.3% boys and 5.3% girls have had sex by age 10

·19.8% of females and 34.7% of males between 13 to 17 years old reported having sex.

·87.2% of females and 75.9% of males 18 to 24 year olds have ever had sex, with 55.8% of females and 75.9% of males doing so before age 18

MDHS 2010

YFHS Evaluation Report  2014

VACS 2013

VACS 2013

Teenage Pregnancy ·106,000 annually (26%) MDHS 2010
Low Contraceptive Use ·Sexually active 15-19 year old boys, less than half (40%) are using condoms;

·Unmarried sexually active 15-19 year old girls less than one-third (30%), and

·One-quarter (25%) of married girls use modern contraception.

MDHS 2010
Condom Use ·20% consistent condom use MDHS 2010

Source:  draft  National Youth  Friendly  Health Services Strategy  2015 –  2020 for Malawi

CONDOMIZE MALAWI CAMPAIGN: CONDOMIZECHANCO

CONDOMIZE Play it safe

CONDOMIZE Play it safe

The  CONDOMIZE  Campaign  kicked off  in Malawi  dubbed “CONDOMIZEMALAWI”  campaign CONDOMIZE CHANCOwith  a bang  in  2013 with the aim of de-stigmatizing  the  big  C aka  Passport the  “CONDOM”  both  female and  male  condoms among  #youth spearheaded by  UNFPA  Malawi, Ministry of  Youth and Sports with support  from the  condom project  and  CONDOMIZE campaign  team.

To promote  its  proper  and  consistent  use  to  prevent pregnancy,  HIV and AIDS  and STI  infections.

CONDOMIZE &  KNOW  UR  STATUS

CONDOMIZE & KNOW UR STATUS

The  campaign  has  engaged  diverse  stakeholders  so  far  such as journalists, youth  leaders, youth workers, health workers, government  officials  and  key partners in adolescent health. This  campaign  is  the  first  program  to  systematically target college  students  in Malawi; most  programs  on youth  sexual reproductive health have  sidelined  college  students  under  the  assumption  that they are  knowledgeable  and  know  how  to adhere  to healthy sexual  behaviors.

Styling it up with CONDOMIZE

Styling it up with CONDOMIZE

 

The  truth  is  that young people  in  our  colleges  are having  SEX but  they lack  information  to make  healthy sexual behaviors decisions.

An informative   male condom  DEMO by a female student

An informative male condom DEMO by a female student

 In Chancellor  College  this  campaign was  able  to  facilitate a platform for  college  students  to start  having  the sex and safe  sex conversation

This  dude  broke  DOWN how  to use  female  condom . he was on point

This dude broke DOWN how to use female condom . he was on point

 through the   comprehensive  information  offered  at the education zone  during  the open days  event  and  training  of  students campus youth peer educators  on  #condoms to  facilitate  dialogue  beyond  the  open day events, the  pin making  table offered fun and how  to style  up  with CONDOMIZEMalawi  campaign.

CONDOM pamphlet in case you miss a step

CONDOM pamphlet in case you miss a step

Diktator doing his  thing

Diktator doing his thing

Urban music  artists headlined  the  concert  that had  college  students  showing  off their  dance styles

Piksy singing  some CONDOMIZE  tunes

Piksy singing some CONDOMIZE tunes

with fun  facts, how to  use  female  and  male  condoms  segments, condom  quizzes on  their locally  coined  #CONDOMIZE slogans, myths and  misconceptions  among  other  side  activities.

CONDOMIZECHANCO was a mix  of  fun, entertainment  and  education

CONDOMIZE  DON'T  COMPROMISE @  the  educational  zone

CONDOMIZE DON’T COMPROMISE @ the educational zone

 

 

HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUTH FRIENDLINESS OF OUR SRH SERVICES? by Telesphore Nambajimana YFPA Rwanda

Originally posted on Youth Family Planning Ambassadors:

The concept youth-friendly serviceshave been being used for several years now by SRH programs but it is not always easy to capture what it is in practice. Too often, organizations embark on providing youth-friendly services as an additional activity to simply include on list of their program and don’t carefully explore their readiness to listen to young people’s complex and diverse voices in the matter. Program reports focus on the number of services provided and young people served, paying less attention to how friendly those young people were served. From my experience, interactions with my fellow young people, service providers and SRH experts, and review of existing literature on SRH I am happy to give the following advice for our services to be qualified as youth friendly. 

  • Empowering young people and giving them options for choices: Our services should not exclusively address needs of young people but…

View original 515 more words

Youth and Family Planning by Mutale Kaimba YFPA Zambia

Originally posted on Youth Family Planning Ambassadors:

Young people usually face new and peculiar challenges, which require appropriate support for them to survive and grow into healthy and responsible adults.  These challenges are largely related to vulnerability to risks associated with behavior change, which could have life-long implications on health, social and economic life of their life.  In this respect, it is generally recognized that appropriate planning and management of young people’s health has significant potential to contribute to overall socio-economic development at both country and global levels.

 

There are three major arguments why it is important to focus on the health of young people and to ensure that young people are fully involved in addressing issues that affect them

1)    Young people are therefore amajor demographic force

For many of the countries in Africa and other less developed countries young people

Constitute the larger percentage of the population. Those who are below 25 years…

View original 686 more words

Condomise Malawi: Hope for youths in the face of HIV by Edyth Kambalame

It is hard enough to get a Malawian university student to tell you whether they use condoms or not, even worse to gauge whether they use them correctly and consistently. But in a country where poverty is believed to be the leading cause of HIV infections and early pregnancies, the issue of condom use is probably the last thing on people’s minds.

But recent research commissioned by UNFPA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports indicates it is not only poverty that is responsible for high HIV infections and fertility rates. Rather, it is the low condom use among Malawi youth. The research was conducted in 2011, but earlier in 2010, a UNAids Report mentioned low condom use as one of the factors that contributes to high HIV infections.

“Major factors in the transmission of HIV in Malawi are poverty, low literacy levels, high rates of casual and transactional unprotected sex, particularly among youth between the ages of 15 and 24 and low levels of male and female condom use,” reads the report in part.

Similarly, the 2010 Malawi Demographic Health Survey (DHS) says: “For young men, HIV prevalence is slightly higher for those who report not using a condom at their last sexual intercourse compared with young men who report using a condom,” reads DHS in part.

Based on these statistics and research findings, the Ministry of Youth and Sports will next month launch a Condomise Malawi Campaign to increase condom use among the youth and reduce unplanned pregnancies and HIV infections.

Deus Lupenga, principal youth officer in the Ministry of Youth, said the campaign will run with funding from UNFPA.

“The Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with UNFPA commissioned a study in 2011 to assess factors that contribute to low condom use among young people. The Condomise Campaign is aimed at increasing condom use among the youth and ultimately reducing unplanned pregnancies and HIV infection,” said Deus Lupenga during a media briefing on the campaign in Blantyre last week.

But why focus on the youth?

Malawi has a youthful population. According to the National Statistical Office, 73.8 percent of the country’s population is below the age of 30.

That is not all—the country holds the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of teenage births in the Sub-Saharan Region. Known as adolescent fertility, Malawi’s teen birth rate is 193 per 1000 girls, compared to countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa which are at 101 per 1000 and 54 per 1000 girls, respectively. The teenage birth rate measures the number of live births to 15-19 year olds.

With such sobering figures, surely, Malawi’s high rates cannot be ignored.

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Overcoming cultural barriers

The Condomise Campaign is advocating for increased condom use because the condom offers dual protection against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, as well as unwanted pregnancies.

Early pregnancy rates are high partly due to cultural and religious values that encourage abstinence and promote condom-free #sex education among youths.

While describing condom use as “one of the most effective strategies for combating the spread of HIV”, the 2010 DHS admits the cultural challenges that stand in the way.

“Educating youth about condoms is sometimes controversial, with some people believing it promotes early sexual initiation,” reads the document.

And in justifying why the Condomise Campaign is focusing on tertiary institutions, principal HIV and Aids officer in the Department of Nutrition, HIV and Aids Khataza Chawanda said: “Policy does not allow for condom distribution in primary and secondary schools, only universities.”

Ironically, one of the reasons girls are dropping out of primary and secondary schools in Malawi is early pregnancies.

Thus, poverty and poor sex education combine to lead to risky sexual behaviour among the youth in Malawi. This is why, although the 2010 DHS says 79 percent of young women and 89 percent of young men know where they can obtain a condom, the youth are not always free to access and use them consistently and correctly.

According to Wilfred Lichapa, chief youth officer in the Ministry of Youth, the Condomise Malawi Campaign is targeting university students because they are easy to reach.

“Universities have been sidelined for a long time in as far as these programmes are concerned, yet university students are future decision makers and so they also need to be protected. Most districts have youth clubs and other avenues through which youths can access condoms, but university students do not usually have these facilities,” said Lichapa.

Chawanda said locally-branded condoms called Silver Touch, which are more appealing to the youth, will be distributed during the campaign.

“The condoms will be distributed to select university campuses and also in hot spots of six impact districts such as Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mangochi, Mzuzu and Karonga that the campaign is targeting,” she said.

Women and girls at risk

Although the country’s average HIV prevalence rate is at 10.6 percent, 12.9 percent of women are living with HIV compared to 8.1 percent of men, according to 2010 DHS. This means women and girls are more vulnerable to the Aids-causing virus than their male counterparts, yet this gender is the most disadvantaged when it comes to condom use.

Malawi introduced the female condom in 1997, with UNFPA scaling up promotions by making it available in hairdressing salons, but acceptance has been slow.

The 2010 DHS indicates that less than one percent of women use the female condom. Yet the one critical advantage of the female condom is that it is the only available technology for HIV prevention that women can initiate and control.

Random interviews conducted in the streets of Blantyre revealed that very few women have ever used a female condom, with many not knowing where to find them.

Acknowledging the gap in access to contraceptives, including condoms, among youths, Vice-President Khumbo Kachali said at the 2012 London Family Planning Summit that government would raise Malawi’s Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) to 60 percent by 2020 “with a focused increase on those aged 15 to 24 years.”

With increased condom use among the youth, government would be on track to meeting its goal of reducing unplanned pregnancies and STIs.

As the Condomise Malawi Campaign runs from September 16-30, government’s goal should be to ensure that the condoms are available to the youth even after the campaign is over, and more importantly, that they reach their target.

http://mwnation.com/condomise-malawi-hope-for-youths-in-the-face-of-hiv/