Coalition of Women Living with HIV and Aids has trained mother groups from Ngabu and Lundu in Chikwawa on how to enhance the uptake of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services among girls.
Speaking at the end of the training on Saturday, the organisation’s Get Up, Speak Out Project officer Sekani Tchuwa said they engaged mother groups because they are permanent structures that will continue with the activities even when the project phases out this December.
“The mother groups are the first port of call for the girls as sometimes girls are afraid of talking to their parents on SRH issues,” she said.
Tchuwa, however, bemoaned some cultural barriers that restrict girls from accessing SRH services.
“So, expect mother groups to conduct community sensitisation on gender-based violence and girls’ access to SRH,” she said.
On his part, Chikwawa district hospital youth-friendly health services coordinator Patrick Baluwa commended the organisation for the interventions.
He said: “Equipping mother groups with SRH knowledge is an attempt to expand the programme.
“Much as we have peer educators, support from the mothers will be worthwhile on the basis that they have vast experience and can easily interact with parents.”
Roster Ngulama, a participant, said the training was beneficial because she learnt a lot of things, including child rights and family planning.
“It is necessary that we have such information. If girls access information on SRH, they are able to make informed choices,” she said.
The training was funded by The Netherlands-based Aidsfonds.