Government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have commended Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) countries for gains they are making in adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights.
Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume said this at the fifth and final regional project steering committee meeting of the United Nations Aids programme (UNAIDS)/UNFPA joint initiative on linking SRH and HIV in southern Africa in Lilongwe on Monday.
He said through the SRH programmes, countries are expanding services through youth-friendly health facilities, mobile clinics, community-based distribution of contraceptives, peer education and involvement of traditional chiefs and counsellors.
“It is good for countries to put great emphasis on all sectors involved in addressing sexual and reproductive health and HIV and Aids. There are lessons learnt and good practices which will enable countries to further scale up integration of SRH and HIV,” said Kumpalume.
He applauded Family Planning Association of Malawi (Fpam), a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), for the services it renders to marginalised people in rural areas.
Speaking on behalf of UNFPA regional director for east and southern Africa, UNFPA country representative Violet Kakyomya said it is vital that the gains made on SRH and accrued over years of implementation are scaled up.
“It is gratifying to note that work on national scaleup on HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights [SRHR] has been initiated in Botswana and Swaziland while others including Malawi, Zimbabwe and Namibia are going for district-level scaleup,” she said.