USAID, Malawi faith groups in population, family planning weekend

Malawi’s development partner, USAID in collaboration with the country’s six major religious mother bodies will hold a Population Weekend during which people will be sensitized on the benefits and importance of family planning.

The Population Weekend will be held from August 23 to 25, 2013 in all churches and mosques across the country and religious leaders will have to integrate population and family planning-related messages in their teachings on Friday for Muslims, Saturday for Seventh Day Adventists and Sunday for the rest of the Christians.

This means that the entire country will be informed about the importance of family planning in one weekend.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world: 65 percent of the population here lives on less than 1.25 dollars a day, and nearly one in 10 children die before their fifth birthday. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world: 65 percent of the population here lives on less than 1.25 dollars a day, and nearly one in 10 children die before their fifth birthday. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

The Population Weekend is also aimed at building momentum of the 2013 World Population Day, according to USAID and religious bodies- Malawi Council of Churches, Evangelical Association of Malawi, Seventh Day Adventist and the Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi.

USAID observes that Malawi’s population is growing at a rapid pace.

In 2008, the population was at 13.1 million; with fertility rate of nearly six children per women, the population is estimated to reach 38 million by 2040.

In order to control hat, USAID says there need for multi-sectoral response to improve awareness of, access to and use of family planning.

With 97 percent of Malawians belonging to a religious regrouping, leaders have a role to play in the response and ensure that their followers are taking positive steps towards managing Malawi’s population growth, according USAID.

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