Studies have shown that capacity gaps are preventing young people from meaningfully participating in the development and implementation of various policies that are directly targeting them.
The revelation has prompted SRHR Africa Trust (SAT) to take steps to bridge the gaps and enhance youth participation and leadership in various policy directions, including the HIV and SRHR policy implementation accountability.
Speaking on the sidelines of the LIVE Facebook Discussion and debate on Youth, SRHR and HIV Policies in Lilongwe, SAT Country Programme Officer Novice Bamusi said majority of the young people in Malawi are not exposed to key policy documents; hence, the capacity gaps.
“As SAT, we normally work with young people; and, in the course of working with them, we noted that although we talk of the meaningful youth participation, but in essence, you will see that their capacities are not up to date to ably and meaningfully contribute to the issues that they are called upon. So, we realize that the major issue is to do with exposure to the key policy documents,” said Bamusi.
SAT organized the LIVE Facebook Discussion and debate on Youth, SRHR and HIV Policies with funding from UNAIDS.
Bamusi noted that there is also a gap in youth-friendly health services in the SRHR and HIV sector, citing Lilongwe City where there are only five facilities where hundreds of the young people have to queue for hours to access services.
One of the participants to the discussion and debate, Patience Mnyenyembe, said the meeting was very important because it exposed them to various policy documents designed for young people.
Mnyenyembe – who lives in Area 25C in Lilongwe – said the knowledge gained from the debate would empower them to hold duty-bearers accountable.
The discussion attracted the participation of senior officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM).
The ministry’s National Coordinator for Reproductive Health on Adolescents and Youth SRHR Programme, Hans Katengeza, lamented that the uptake of SRHR services remains low among young people despite the fact that they are the most sexually active population.
Katengeza said it is for this reason that the ministry is working with various partners, including SAT, to improve the situation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :