25 February 2018
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Friday, 15 August 2014 11:52

Family Planning Stakeholders worrying over Rapid Population Growth

Written by  Evance Chisiano

Machinga, August 15, 2014, Mana: Stakeholders in Family Planning have expressed concern over Rapid Population Growth in Machinga which is influenced by adolescent pregnancy and motherhood among other social contributing factors as the district population stands at 590,000 on a land measuring 3,771 square kilometers.

Machinga District Commissioner, District Health Office, Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM), Health Policy Project and USAID expressed concerns on the Rapid Population Growth during World Population Day commemorations at Senior Traditional Authority Nyambi Headquarters in the district.

This year’s World Population Day was held under the theme ‘Investing in Young People: Key to Development’ as stakeholders focused on adolescent and young peoples’ poverty, education and health.

The theme also discussed issues of child marriages, adolescent pregnancy, youth unemployment among other social issues affecting young people in the district.

Machinga District Commissioner, Reignhard Chavula said Machinga Council is equally concerned with the Rapid Population Growth which is putting pressure on land and health service delivery.

The stakeholders however observed that adolescent motherhood has direct impact on population.

“There are always land conflicts and drugs in health facilities are never enough,” Chavula observed while calling on the youth to stay in school as opposed to early marriages.

Machinga District Health Officer representative Macleod Piringu disclosed that a single mother in Machinga give birth to seven children in her reproductive years.

“Women in Machinga have a total fertility rate of 6.9,” Piringu said adding that few of women of child bearing age access family planning methods.

To this effect Piringu called the young people to seek Health Friendly Health Services available in all health facilities in the district.

USAID representative, Evelyn Zimba commended government for offering youth friendly health services in most health facilities saying this could address issues of adolescent pregnancies and motherhood.

She disclosed that 16 million adolescents worldwide give birth per year.

Family Planning Executive Director, Thokozani Mbendera said population growth is a global concern as Malawi is equally affected.

He said this is the reason Malawi also commemorates the population day to discuss issues that contribute to population growth.

Mbendera said FPAM will continue to give guidance to the youth on issues of family planning as one way of addressing population growth.

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