The Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) distributed nutrition supplements to lactating mothers in Machinga this week as one way of responding to drought related sexual reproductive health issues.
The distribution of a 10 kilogram bag of maize of flour, five kilograms of beans, five kilograms of groundnuts and one litre bottle of cooking oil per lactating mother was done at Senior Chief Liwonde’s headquarters.
FPAM board chairperson, Lilian Ng’oma said the distribution of the food supplements was in response to the drought which has contributed to limited agricultural production that has in turn affected mothers and children in Machinga.
She noted that limited agricultural production compels mothers to indulge in high risk behaviours such as prostitution which increases chances of HIV infection.
According to FPAM, malnutrition increases mother risks to miscarriages, stillbirth, low birth weight and other pregnancy complications which is why the organization is implementing the project called Addressing Drought Related SRH issues in Malawi (ADDRESS) for six months.
To this effect FPAM carries out mobile Sexual Reproductive Health outreach clinics, family planning, HIV Testing, Vagina Inspection using Acetic Acid, Sexual Transmission Infection screening, condom distribution in three Traditional Authority areas of Liwonde, Nsanama and Mposa in Machinga, Ng’oma said.
He therefore called on women in Liwonde to adopt modern family planning methods to maintain small families and avoid food wastage.
On average, one woman gives birth to seven children in Machinga, according the district’s fertility rate which is one of the highest in Malawi.
FPAM Director of Programs, Loney Mcozana said the association intends to reach out 400 households with lactating mothers and under five children in Liwonde, Nsanama and Mposa areas in six critical months starting from this month.
Senior Traditional Authority Liwonde commended FPAM for implementing the ADDRESS project which he said is in place at a time Liwonde area is experiencing acute food shortage following floods and drought.
He said people in his area need extra relief food and other nutrition supplements to respond to the current situation as families are struggling to cope with food deficit.
According to FPAM, 2.8 million Malawians are in need of urgent food aid as the country faces combination of food shortage and El Nino weather patterns.
The Malawi government declared a state of disaster on 12 April 2016 following severe dryness and unfavourable occurrences like floods.
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA