2 April 2019

Malawi: Shortage of Contraceptive in Malawi Sparks Baby-Boom Worry

Reproductive health rights of women in Malawi is under threat, as supply shortages for contraceptives has hit health facilities across the country as impact of cyclone Idai has disrupted planned delivery from hard-hit Mozambiqur port city of Beira.

Namarika: Malawi contraceptives stuck in Mozambique port city of Beira

Ministry of Health and Population said in a published statement that contraceptives such as injectable (Depo-IM), Implanon and Jadelle are stuck at Beira port in Mozambique due to a disruption in transportation systems.

"This has happened due to the devastating cyclone which hit parts of Southern Africa and thereby disrupting normal transport systems in Mozambique," said Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dan Namarika said in the statement .

He said that the Ministry is striving to ensure delivery of the contraceptives by, among other proposals, exploring internal arrangements to redistribute what is a available in some facilities to ensure stock availability.

Namarika has since appealed to the ministry's partners who might have the said commodities to help provide them.

Health rights activist are worried that the current shortage of all contraception, coupled with the near absence of access to abortion services in many parts of the country places women at increased risk of unwanted pregnancy and undermines their reproductive and contraceptive health rights.

Most women depend on public health services in Malawi and can't afford to purchase contraceptives from private pharmacies. More than 85% of Malawi's population lives in rural areas, where unmet need for contraception is high.

Malawi's population, according to the recent report by National Statistical Office (NSO) in a decade has increased by 35 percent which was almost half of the population 10 years ago.

Baby boom worry is cause for concern with a struggling economy and a booming population standing at 19.4 million from 18.6 million last year.

Many studies indicate that developing countries like Malawi tend to have higher birth rates due to poverty and lower access to family planning and education. These are direct results of population boom.

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