Young people in Malawi have demanded government to set up youth corners in hospitals across Malawi as a way of promoting young people’s access to health services.
The young people made their demands in a statement delivered on Thursday during the closing ceremony of three-day National Youth Symposium organized by Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) at Mponela.
In their statement, the youth said some of the challenges they face include lack of youth friendly health services in hospitals, long distances to hospitals and lack of health workers who are specialized in sexual and reproductive health.
“For example, in Ntchisi, out of ten hospitals there are only two health facilities which provide youth-friendly health services to over 200,000 youth,” the youth said, adding that this is the case in various hospitals across the country.
The youth then called for introduction of sections at hospitals where they can access sexual and reproductive health services.
“We are asking government that in the K6 billion allocated for construction of health facilities, there should be an allocation for construction of youth corners within the hospitals,” the youth said.
Another issue the youth expressed concern about is the lack of contraceptive commodities such as drugs which they said has seen a lot of youth getting pregnant, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The youth also talked about the challenges which young people with disabilities face when accessing health services in health facilities across the country.
They urged government to invest in youth-friendly health services which could lead to reduction in cases of teen pregnancy and school dropouts and in turn contribute to the implementation of Vision 2063.
Speaking after official closing the summit, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said government is committed to providing family planning commodities and youth-friendly services in health facilities in the country.
“For the first time we have had an increase of over 170 percent in the allocation for family planning services,” said Kandodo, adding that the current allocation for the services is K470 million.
She further said that her ministry is encouraged that churches are engaging youth and teaching them about sexual and reproductive health as well teaching them skills such as tailoring.
Churches under EAM are implementing N’zatonse Project in which youth are trained on issues of sexual and reproductive health.
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