Government has challenged development partners to channel their financial resources towards promotion of vasectomy in men as a means of controlling population growth in Malawi.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri said this Wednesday at the opening of National Symposium on Population and Development in Malawi at Bingu international Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
He said despite a number of interventions in family planning and the increase of uptake of contraceptives up to 58 percent, Malawi still has increased its population over the years.
The Minister said there was need to change the approach towards population control and the programming should shift to men.
Phiri said women are being subjected to different types of contraceptives while men are being sidelined and their participation is largely minimal.
He added that men should view vasectomy as a means to control the rapid population growth and should be ready to accept it.
“We have been promoting the use of contraceptives among women while men have just been passive participants in family planning initiatives and they always find a way to bear child from other women out of wedlock. This is what is contributing to population boom in the country,” the Minister added.
Phiri pointed out that if one man decides to use vasectomy, more women would be safe but if there are 20 women on contraceptives that would not translate into population control because other women would be targeted.
The Minister believes if more men would be willing to opt for vasectomy chances are the county’s population growth would reduce drastically.
Senior Chief Mlonyeni of Mchinji agreed with the suggestion that men should be on vasectomy in order to reduce population growth.
He said the country need to forgo some religious and traditional beliefs that discourage the use of family planning methods among communities,
“The population increase in the country has contributed to shortage of land, deforestation, food shortage, overfishing and poor access to social services in various areas,” Mlonyeni viewed.
He added that if the programme is to be a success traditional and religious leaders should be in lead in order to spearhead the initiative
Report by Tione Andsen – Mana