Mangochi religious leaders call for inclusion in SRH programs

Mangochi: Religious leaders in Mangochi have called upon civil society organizations working in the district to ensure that they engage them when implementing projects that have to do with sexual reproductive health.

Sheikh Ali Makalani, who is also chairperson for Mangochi Forum for Peace and Justice, made the call on Tuesday during stakeholders meeting where GOAL Malawi presented progress report on their project Pamawa ndi Achinyamata being implemented in the district.

Makalani said the district has been facing a lot of challenges in implementation of sexual reproductive health (SRH) and family planning issues because the religious leaders were being sidelined during implementation of such programs

Engagement of religious leaders is vital in the district because they are the ones who stay in the community and know how best to deliver the message and sustain the programs after the project phases out, said Makalani.

Mangochi Area Coordinator for PAMAWA project Raymond Mwalughali acknowledged Makani’s concerns, saying issues of behavior change and access to SRH or family planning services were indeed very crucial and required more effort to achieve the ultimate goal.

However, Mwalughali said despite not fully engaging the religious leaders Pamawa ndi Achinyamata had introduced programs on Zodiak, YONECO FM and MBC to ensure that all the youth especially those in rural areas have access to information on SRH and family planning services.

Mwalughali said the project also formed youth clubs and that some of the youth club members were trained in afforestation and other agricultural interventions.

The youth were also provided with a number of items including treadle pumps, bee keeping sets and start up bottles, watering cans, footballs, Bawos and start-up seeds among other things, Mwalughali disclosed.

Mwalughali added that the project was also aimed at increasing the adoption of positive behaviors related to climate change adaptation, sexual reproductive health and family planning among the youth aged 10 to 35 in all T/As and primary schools in Mangochi.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA