Young people in Malawi face a number of challenges that prevent them from accessing Sexual Reproductive Health Services (SRH) services like modern contraceptives as well as HIV Testing and counselling (HTC) Services. Long distances to nearest health service delivery points is among the most prominent challenges which young people, especially those who live in rural parts of the country, grapple with.
Heartrendingly, lack of access to SRH services has led into unacceptable high rates of unintended pregnancies among young people which typically result into school dropouts, child marriages and complications which result from induced unsafe abortions.
It is against this background that YONECO supported a series of SRH outreach activities in the areas of Traditional Authority (T/A) Namkumba, Jalasi, Chimwala and Mponda in Mangochi district. The outreach sessions were aimed at bringing SRH services closer to young people who are prevented from accessing them because of the long distances they need to cover to reach a public health facility.
During the outreach activities, young people accessed SRH information, STI treatment and screening services, oral and injectable contraceptives as well as HTC services. The sessions reached out to a number of young people through 26 community youth clubs in the targeted five T/As.
Various community gatekeepers have commended the SRH outreach sessions citing that prevention of various SRH challenges which young people face is far much cheaper and easier than to remedy the consequences of any inaction on the same.