The Directorate of Reproductive Health (RHD) in partnership with Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) and youth organisations said the implementation of their 2015 to 2020 strategic plan has been largely affected several challenges including the corona virus restrictions.
Speaking during a review meeting of the five-year plan held in Mponela, Dowa, deputy director for RHD, Henry Phiri said there is a decline among youths who seek sexual reproductive services in the facilities and clubs due to the corona virus pandemic.
“This has resulted in teenage pregnancies, early marriages, alcohol, drug abuse and mental illnesses among the youths in the country,” he said.
Together with partners, he said, they will make sure challenges facing the youths are addressed thereby making them productive citizens.
In his remarks, FPAM executive director, Donald Makwakwa said a lot has happened within the period of 5 years of implementation, new developments have emerged with Covid-19 pandemic as a major challenge
” As we are taking stock of this strategic plan, the new document will deal with the emerging issues so that anything that comes in future should not surprise us but rather deal with it,” he said.
He added that the new document will also take into consideration the issues of mental health, drug and alcohol abuse.
A youth representative, Lusungu Harawa urged the organizations to involve youths in their planning activities.
“Mostly, youths are left behind in planning of the activities. It is important that young voices are heard and included in everything,” she said.
The strategic plan seeks to create an enabling environment for youth friendly health services delivery, guarantee strict adherence to services, strengthen synergies between and across, increase community participation and identify opportunities for creating a generation free for all chronic conditions.