The intake of contraceptives has increased in Ntchisi which was one of the districts in Malawi with low numbers of clients seeking such services, according to the Malawi Health and Demographic Survey of 2010.
This has been attributed to the work Sexual Reproductive Health partners like PSI Malawi are carrying on the district including mobile clinics devoted to sexual and reproductive health care.
This was disclosed during a familiarization tour on mobile sexual reproductive health services organiseed by PSI Malawi for the parliamentary committee on HIV/Aids and Health at Sopani in TA Chilooko’s area.
According to PSIMalawi’s Program’s Manager Chifundo Kuyeri said since they launched a sexual reproductive health program called Nzatonse Project acceptance and usage of family planning methods has increased in the district.
“Uptake of family planning in Ntchisi is high because we reach in almost all corners. Through our 13 teams comprising a Clinical officer and four nurses, we establish mobile clinics where we offer sexual reproductive services, gender based violence counselling, HIV/Aids and counselling as well as STIs screening.
“Out of these services, since the project started in 2013 in Ntchisi, trends show changes in demand for contraceptives. In October alone, 1000 clients were serviced compared to the same period last year which was way less than a thousand. In 2017 about 7,000 family planning services were offered to women, men and youths in Ntchisi district. Overall, in 2017, PSI through the outreach teams, provided services to about
170,000 women, men and young people in the 13 project districts,” explained Kuyeri.
Nzatonse project is being implemented in other districts like Neno, Mwanza, Machinga, Kasungu, Rumphi, Blantyre, Thyolo, Nsanje, Ntcheu, Dedza as well as Mzimba north and south.
From March, PSI Malawi will start offering cervical cancer screening services at its mobile clinic which are set up with guidance from the district health office.
Ntchisi District Health Officer Dr. Zondwayo Ngoma DHO concurred with PSI Malawi on the increase in uptae of contraceptives.
“While the project as different elements, the main impact is for uptake of family planning methods. Ntchisi was one of district not doing well as evidenced by the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey of 2010. Now there are changes with more women in particular seeking the service,” he said.
One of the ladies who has been using Jadelle contraceotion method, Grace Mailosi urged on authorities to put more effort in dealing with myths and beliefs.
“While the numbers are increasing, there is so much that needs to be done in civic educating people in order to do away with myths and beliefs. For example, some people believe a woman who is on contraceptives is not good in bed while others trust the notion that contraceptives make men weak.
There’s no proof because myself I have been using Jadelle for the past four years and nothing of that sort has happened to me. Clearly, some families choose to ignore contraceptives not because of access but unsubstantiated stories which need to be dealt with,” said the mother of two.