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Empowering Adolescents & Young People with Choice

News  •  5 February 2024  • 3 min read



Malawi has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Teen pregnancy rate is currently at 29%.

Teen pregnancies cannot be celebrated. Teen pregnancies and their increase are by no means in the category of good news. This is bad news through and through. They are in the category of news that should make us shake our heads vicariously in shame.

Teenage pregnancy increases when girls are denied the right to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and well-being. 

Girls must be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures, understand the effects of teenage pregnancy, and have access to appropriate healthcare services and comprehensive sexuality education.

As an initiative to empower girls with choices, Banja La Mtsogolo is implementing health talks in Primary and Secondary Schools in three districts of Ntchisi, Dowa and Lilongwe.

One of the campaigns was held in Ntchisi at Kayoyo Primary School and Kayoyo CDSS 29th and 30th January respectively targeted learners in the age range of 10 to 24. The campaign had health talks with topics that learners face in their daily life. Topics like Goal Setting, Pregnancy Prevention, Prevention and Treatment of STI including HIV, HPV Prevention and Cervical Cancer and Identifying safe spaces among others were delivered in an interactive mode.

The response from both the teachers and learners was overwhelming. The sessions were very active and learners had a lot of questions to ask on the topics, justifying the need to demystify myths and provide correct information.

The Head Teacher for Kayoyo Secondary School Jonathan Kaboni commended BLM for the initiative stressing that there is indeed a gap of information when it comes to SRH, as a lot of young people drop out of school due to early pregnancy. “The awareness has come at the right time when we are still dealing with early pregnancy and a lot of SRH issues which lead to school dropouts. I wish this campaign goes into the remotest areas, because most learners here are coming from far way places, walking distances of over 20 kilometers a day.”

The in-school SRH awareness campaigns are being supported by Global Affairs Canada under the project Innovations for Health Rights and Development (iHeard), to increase the health-related rights for the most vulnerable adolescents and young people in Malawi by reducing barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In the picture, adolescents and young people at Ntchisi Secondary School listen attentively to a health talk.



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