Youths bemoan lack of YFRHS at Chikwina Health Centre in Nkhata Bay

Youths in Traditional Authority (TA) Nyaluwanga in Nkhata Bay have decried lack of youth friendly reproductive health services (YFRHS) infrastructure and confidentiality in providing such services to them at Chikwina Health Centre.

This was said on Thursday during an interface meeting between youths and duty bearers that was organised by Livingstonia Synod AIDS Programme (LISAP) under their project  ‘Everywhere youth Empowered’ which is being implemented in the area.

District Youth Network representative, Edward Kaunda described the situation as a recipe for sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancies and early marriages among youths since they are shy to seek for the services, resulting into high school dropouts in the area.

Youth representative presenting grievances

“We want privacy in accessing medical supplies like condoms and services like guidance and counseling by trusted service providers because this will protect us from sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancies and early marriages in situations where we cannot abstain,” said Kaunda.

He therefore asked health authorities in the district to intervene in the situation by providing them a YFRHS room at the health facility and increase the number of service providers.

“It is an open secret that the youths are indulging into sexual activities so we need to join hands with duty bearers in addressing the challenge because once these services are not available near them, chances are high that they can land into these problems,” he added.

Deputy Youth Friendly Health Services Coordinator, Dithia Mjojo said they will improvise a room at the health facility by end of April this year to enable them access the services in privacy and confidentiality. 

TA Nyaluwanga said through area development committee together with the youth themselves, they will mould bricks to construct the facility at the health centre this year.

Traditional Nyaluwangwa speaking during the meeting

Executive Director for LISAP, Jonathan Vumu said they have embarked on advocacy to unearth issues that directly affect the youth in sexual reproductive health especially in TA Nyaluwanga.

Vumu said with support from Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D)-Canada they are targeting 940 adolescent boys and 1200 adolescent girls both in and out of school, aged 10 to 24 years so that they can live life to their full potential.

Vumu said: “As an organisation, we have already started addressing the challenges they have raised by engaging duty bearers, mostly the health sector so that they are treated in a dignified manner if they want services such as sexual reproductive health services among others.”

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