In a quest to promote safe motherhood and control population growth, Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) with funding from KFW — a German Bank—through a four-year Nzatonse Project, has embarked on an initiative to scale up access to long term family planning and reproductive health services in hard to reach areas in Ntcheu.
Speaking on Monday in an interview with Mana alongside the opening ceremony of a week long training for nurses and clinicians on Long Term Family Planning Methods, Ntcheu District Manager for FPAM, Patrick Kavaya, said shortage of long term family planning service providers is one of the challenges which is affecting service provision and access especially in hard to reach areas in the district, hence the training.
He said his organisation has done a lot in creating demand for the services through its community based distribution agents, peer educators and community health promoters but the impact is minimal due to the shortage of the service providers.
Ntcheu District Medical Officer, Dr. Tizifa Tinashe, commended FPAM for organising the training which, he said, would go a long way in improving access to long term family planning and reproductive health services in the district.
“Ntcheu is lagging behind in terms of contraceptive prevalence rate. Ntcheu’s contraceptive prevalence rate is at 36 per cent which is far too low compared to World Health Organization’s requirement,” said Dr. Tinashe.
He said improved contraceptive prevalence rate could contribute towards safe mother hood through the reduction of maternal related deaths and complications.
Dr. Tinashe, however, expressed concern over some cultural and religious beliefs which counteract family planning initiatives and advised the trainees to be prudent in their profession to win communities positive attitude towards contraceptives.
Long term contraceptives include peals and injectables whilst long term contraceptives include implants such as implanon and jadelle which provide child spacing for a period of 3 to 5 years respectively.
For the past two months, FPAM through the same project has managed to train 170 short tern family planning methods service providers across the district.