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Wednesday, 03 January 2018 13:35

FPAM empowers Machinga youth with sexual reproductive knowledge

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Girls like these to have a bright future if they attend school - File Photo Girls like these to have a bright future if they attend school - File Photo

Machinga, January 3, 2017: Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) closed the 2017 year in style by organising an open-day in Traditional Authority Liwonde in Machinga to equip the youth with sexual and reproductive health knowledge.

The youth are expected to use the knowledge gained in preventing teen-age pregnancies.

The open day, held last Sunday under the ‘Yes I Do,’ Project, centred on encouraging the girl child to go back to school as schools open on January 8, 2018 for the second term in the 2017/2018 academic calendar.

FPAM Project Officer, Jimmy Kachali, said it was the aim of the organisation to work with young people in the area so that they are equipped with relevant knowledge on sexual and reproductive health for them to make informed decisions.

Kachali said FPAM works with young people through Youth Action Movement whereby they (youth) are empowered to be advocates in the fight against teen pregnancies and early marriages.

He observed that it was important for the young people to use the knowledge acquired from FPAM clinics because it would enable them prevent early pregnancies which, most often, result in deaths and disabilities.

“A lot of girls are dropping out of school due to early pregnancies, if they can be equipped with sexual and reproductive health knowledge, such things can be avoided,” said Kachali.

He, therefore, asked local leaders and parents to keep girls in school and send those who have children back to school to equally enjoy their right to education.

Chairperson of Mangamba Youth Friendly Health Services, Dickson Matope, commended FPAM for the youth empowerment programme on sexual and reproductive health, noting that it has contributed to the reduction of teen pregnancies.

“Before FPAM was introduced in our area, we had high numbers of teen pregnancies, but now things are changing for the better and the deaths which occur due to early pregnancies have been reduced,” said Matope.

Matope, therefore, asked FPAM to continue teaching the youth about sexual and reproductive health, saying that was the only way of promoting education in the area.

In his remarks, Group Village Headman (GVH) Mangamba commended FPAM for the role it was playing in empowering the youth with different skills, saying the interventions were coming at a time the area was experiencing high rate of pregnancy and early marriages.

GVH Mangamba said traditional leaders had embraced the ‘Yes I do’ Initiative such that through the intervention, chiefs had managed to dissolve at least 20 teen marriages in the area.

He, therefore, urged parents to send the girl children back to school and stop promoting early marriages, emphasising that the only right place for the girl child was the school.