Norwegian Deputy Minister of National Development impressed with BLM outreach program


Deputy Minister Sandkjær (C), BLM Country Director (L) and Ambassador fo Norway to Malawi (R)

Deputy Minister of International Development for Kingdom of Norway, Bjørg Sandkjær has commended Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM) for the outreach services which the organisation is providing in the country, saying the services are helping a lot of families in family planning and also helping adolescent girls in sexual and reproductive health.

Speaking yesterday after touring Mlangali Health Centre in Dedza district where Banja La Mtsogolo has an outreach clinic, the Deputy Minister said she was impressed with the outreach program, describing it as very effective.

“For Norway it’s important for us to be able to support family planning and to come here and see services, to see that people are coming to make good use of these services.

“It is very impressive to see and I commend Banja La Mtsogolo for this initiative because it is helping a lot of women, girls and also men in Malawi,” said Sandkjær.

Sandkjær also added that the kind of services the outreach is offering are important in the development and the economy of the country.

“There is an outreach to sensitise people what kind of family planning services are available, how it’s possible to plan your family and that it is important for young girls to prevent them from having children early so that they can complete school and this is good development.

“People come here now to get the counseling and to be able to take up different planning methods to enable them to plan their families, it is a good initiative,” said Sandkjær.

The Deputy Minister then expressed Norway’s commitment to continue supporting BLM and the Ministry of Health in providing sexual reproductive health services and also family planning services to enable couples and individuals to make responsible choices around their own sexuality.

In his remarks, Country Director for Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM) Tenaw Bawoke said the outreach program is the most effective way of delivering their services, and the services are being provided in coordination with the districts Health officers across the country.

“As BLM We take services to the people in the hardest to reach areas. In outreach, we provide family planning services. These are short term services like condom and pills, long acting reversible methods like loop and permanent methods like vasectomy and tubal ligation, these are are free services.

“So we have trained providers, we have client mobilisers where they go house to house and mobilise people. So we work together and we are jointly providing necessary family planning services to the community and that is a very good integration between us as Banja La Mtsogolo and district Health officials,” explained Bawoke.

According to Bawoke, the outreach program is not just a women program but a family program, adolescent girls program and also a community program.

“Family planning services are good because if you have planned a family, it means that you can use your resources wisely, you can have education to your children, you can have good nutrition to your children. So this family program it is a social program, it is a economic program, it’s an overall development program,” he added.

Lutengano Kachali a Nurse provider for BLM at Mlangali Health Centre said as BLM they work hand in hand with Government and they are complementing Government activities by providing family planning services to those people living in hard to reach areas, so that they are able to access the family planning services through the outreach initiative.

One of the beneficiaries of the outreach program Daifa Khamba thanked BLM for offering the services to them for free saying this has really helped them in planning their families.

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