Teenage pregnancies are reportedly decreasing in some parts of Machinga district, an organisation responsible for youth change says.
But the stakeholders in the district argue that there is a lot to be done as some cultural beliefs continue to fuel teenage pregnancies.
Executive Director for Youth Change Lameck Biyale says the trend of teenage pregnancies is going down in the district – a development he says shows the strides being undertaken by various players in the district.
“An assessment which we conducted this year established that by April, up to 366 girls dropped out of school due to early marriages unlike this month, ” he explained.
Biyale said although teenage pregnancies have been reduced from 366 in April this year to 102 this month in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Chinguza the problem still remains huge.
He says the reduction of the number of early marriages follows the introduction of sexual reproductive health awareness campaign to the youths that the organisation has been conducting in the area.
He said that the organisation has managed to send girls back to school who had dropped out after getting pregnant.
The organization notes that while the trend is going down, some ‘archaic’ culutural beliefs are the set back towards the fight.He therefore pleaded with local authority to ensure that girls attend school and that the culutual practices are stopped.
Meanwhile, People in the area have asked the organisation to continue educating the girls up to tertiary level.
A report called Marrying Too Young, published last year by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said that 50% of women aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18 in Malawi, the eighth highest figure in the world. The report was published to urge decision-makers to sharpen their focus on protecting girls’ human rights.