Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) has drilled 300 000 youths in family planning methods in five traditional authorities (T/As) in Dedza District, saving them from early marriages and unwanted pregnancies under the Unite for Body Rights(UFBR) Project.
Dedza FPAM health service provider Samuel Banda said the project was inspired by escalating numbers of early marriages and pregnancies caused by traditional myths and beliefs that barred youths and women from freely accessing family planning methods.
In an interview, Banda said one of the main reasons most youths were reluctant to seek family planning methods was lack of youth friendly service provision of the same which has been addressed through peer education, by training fellow youths in the highly affected communities.
Appreciating FPAM’s contribution in his village, group village head(GVH) Ngwimbi of T/A Kachindamoto where the programme was also implemented, said before the intervention, his area was affected by traditional beliefs such as initiation ceremonies after which girls would indulge in sexual activities resulting in teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
He said: “We, chiefs have intervened by instituting penalties for those encouraging unhealthy sexual reproductive habits and shying away from the modern methods of contraception.”