International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said adolescents and other migrant communities lack access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) services globally.
Head of IOM Malawi Mpilo Nkomo said this on Thursday during a meeting with two parliamentary committee members for Health and Population and HIV and Aids at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.
He said the issue needs urgent attention from government and other human development agencies.
Nkomo explained that most transport corridors have reported issues affecting adolescent migrants and affected communities that lack access to SRHR services.
He said the Malawi office is running a four-year programme titled SRHR—HIV Knows No Borders as one way of providing health services to the communities and migrants.
“The project runs from 2016 to 2020 and we are operating in Mchinji, Mwanza and Neno on pilot phase as an intervention to lessen the burden. We are targeting migration affected communities, sex workers and adolescents.
“The project seeks to address shortfalls that have been in sexual reproductive health rights among targeted groups,” IOM head told the parliamentarians.
Director for reproductive health in the Ministry of Health Fannie Kachale commended IOM for complementing government efforts in addressing issues of reproductive health.
In her remarks, Parliamentary Committee on Health chairperson Juliana Lunguzi said the programme outline has revealed that there are some interventions that need to be looked at critically.
She recalled that some of the interventions that are being used were tested before and there was need to evaluate them and see if they are bringing positive results.
“We need to collaborate and see how best some of the interventions that have been put in place can be modified in order to come up with relevant solutions,” Lunguzi suggested.
This is the first time IOM has engaged the Parliamentary Committees to brief them on the IOM programme which is being implemented since 2016. n