Likoma District Health Office (DHO) conducted a campaign across Likoma and Chizumulu Islands to promote birth control methods and sensitise residents about extreme poverty which is fueled by uncontrolled births.
The DHO for Likoma carried out the meetings across the two Islands from 19 to 23 December 2018.
The campaign was championed by the Ministry of Health with aid from the United Nations Fund for Population Agency (UNFPA) to persuade the Islanders to adopt some contraceptives and avoid unplanned pregnancies in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkumpha 3.
Held under the theme “Having children by choice, not by chance,” the meetings saw health practitioners having an interface with hundreds of men, women and youth Islanders.
The residents accessed information on various methods of family planning and health interventions.
Speaking in an interview, district coordinator for Likoma DHO family planning program Villa Mhango said one of the core objectives of the campaign was to escalate awareness by coaxing people to embark on practicing child spacing and having small sized families.
“We are here in Likoma to intensify awareness concerning family planning matters for the first time in history of the district in order to reduce overpopulation by enlightening them to be having children by choice,” explained Villa.
She went on to say that this is a good initiative for the nation since people will be having enough time to participate in developmental activities, as they will be able to concentrate on other relevant issues rather than solely paying attention to raising kids at all times as a result of uncontrolled births.
In his words, Likoma District Health Officer (DHO) Mathews Sibale expressed optimism on how the district is faring on family planning matters saying they have registered a convincing record concerning the initiative and they are looking forward to do even better.
He said: “Likoma Island is doing well on family planning issues and to get the picture of 2017 – 2018, we had a total of 1996 visits of women of child bearing age accessing some contraceptives entirely of which a few of these clients ,about 142, came from Mozambique since we are a border district.”
Sibale continued to say that as the DHO, they are deploying some strategies to spearhead the escalation of family planning health talks at St Peters Mission hospital and Chizumulu as well as in some outreach clinics to get the messages at household level.
Meanwhile, Likoma District Health Office says it will later on involve the media such as Likoma community radio so that they should be coming up with special programs tackling family planning issues to encourage people more especially women of child bearing age to adapt the contraceptives and reduce rapid population growth.
According to the statistics given by Likoma DHO, the district has a record of 2,413 women of child bearing age and the authority still looks forward to encourage men and women to play a pivotal role towards the initiative to secure maximum results.