Malemia youths bemoan challenges in SRHR advocacy

A network of youths from the area of Traditional Authority Malemia in Zomba district has bemoaned challenges in advocating for sexual reproductive health rights among the youths in the area.

The youth network made the sentiments during a sensitization campaign in the area.

Chairperson of the youth network Christopher Chipala cited mobility issues, lack of peer education, life skills and knowledge among the youth leaders as some of the problems hindering their efforts in the drive

“The issue of transforming lives of people is difficult, is takes us many time because we don’t have enough knowledge and skills about sexual reproduction, and mobility to reach these youths is also a major challenge,” he said.

Chipala said the area is registering rising numbers of early marriages and teenage pregnancies due to lack of information on sexual reproductive health and access to the same.

He said facilities where young people can access the sexual reproductive health services and counselling when facing various challenges in their day to day lives is also minimal hence fueling the early marriages, teenage pregnancy and gender based violence.

The youths during the sensitization campaign

He further said youth clubs in the area are tackling various issues related to promoting lives of young people in the area such as encouraging young people to refrain from indulging themselves into bad practices that may expose them to different risks rather focusing on studies to achieve their goals.

“We are advocating to young people to focus on their education in order to become productive citizens and contribute fully to the development of the area. We also encourage teen mothers to go back to school to achieve their goals because education is a powerful weapon to success in life,” said Chipala.

He therefore urged all stakeholders to help the youth network with bikes and trainings in order for them to have enough knowledge and skills concerning advocacy so that youths should be fed with right information that will help to save their lives.

Reacting to the news, Chairperson of Civil Society organizations in Zomba Sammy Aron said there is need for collaborative efforts among all players in protecting lives of young people in the district.

Aron told Nthanda Times that maternal deaths are on the increase because girls are involved in sexual activities and getting pregnancy while young, a situation which puts their lives at risk during deliver.

“There is a need to join hands between government, civil society organizations and churches to implement and advocate the significant of young people to refrain from having sexual relationship before maturity,” he said.