IPAS Malawi, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has urged stakeholders not to neglect issues of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) amidst the on-going battle to contain the deadly Coronavirus in the country.
Luke Tembo who is Program Manager for IPAS made the remarks in Karonga following the end of a Workshop on Safeguarding Gender and Sexual Reproductive Health during COVID-19 that the organization organized for Civil Society Organizations, (CSOs), Health Officials, the Youths and Journalists.
Speaking in an interview, Tembo said the organization thought of coming up with the training to make sure issues of SRH are not relegated to the background as the country is fighting COVID-19.
He observed that on an ordinary day, sexual reproductive health issues are usually the last thing on the agenda hence the training on how SRH issues can be integrated in COVID-19 programing and messages.
“With the coming in of the Coronavirus the temptation is that people will focus more on fighting to contain the COVID-19 pandemic thus neglecting and forgetting all together issues of SRH which is a big component in as far as public health is concerned,” he said.
Tembo therefore expressed hope that through the workshop SRH providers are now better placed to protect themselves as well as their clients from catching the virus when they are giving out SRH services that include contraceptives and post-abortion care.
One of the participants to the training Betty Msiska expressed gratitude to IPAS for organizing the timely workshop on sexual reproductive health in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to the Coronavirus pandemic more and more people and families are staying home and with this situation risks of getting unwanted and unplanned pregnancies become more high as so many people have lots of spare time on their hands hence this training has been an eye opener in as far as how we can integrate SRH issues in COVID-19 programs,” she articulated.
Currently, Malawi has recorded 2,907 cases including 59 deaths and 1135 recoveries.