The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DfID) under the Tsogolo Langa (My Future) programme on Monday officially handed over a consignment of family planning commodities, procured through UNFPA, to the Malawi Government.
The symbolic donation ceremomy The symbolic donation ceremomy
Tsogolo Langa is a £50 million six-year programme delivering sexual and reproductive health and family planning services to Malawians, especially young people.
£20 million of this goes to providing Family Planning commodities for Government and CHAM health facilities, so that Malawians can access them for free across the country.
Speaking during the official handover ceremony, Ministry of Health, Head of DFID in Malawi, David Beer said they are committed to supporting the Government of Malawi and Malawians to invest in family planning.
"We believe that allowing women and young people informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health gives them control over their own lives, and helps them build better futures. DFID is committed to supporting the Government of Malawi and Malawians to invest in family planning, and in providing more and better health and education services, so that Malawians can be ready for a bright future," Beer narrated.
On her part, Country Representative for UNFPA Young Hong noted that Malawi has a youthful population with 78 percent under the age of 35 but many are lacking access to basic sexual and reproductive health information and services.
"Without these, young people find themselves grappling with poverty, early pregnancy, disease and other challenges. This therefore result in dragging down the development of the country," she observed.
Secretary for Health Dr Dan Namarika said Government recognises the importance of providing quality Family Planning Commodities and services for all eligible women, adolescent girls youth and even the Vulnerable hard to reach areas communities.
He said, "Currently, all public health facilities provide family planning Commodities and services to all women of child bearing age for free. These services are essential in the prevention of maternal and neonatal deaths which are high in our country Malawi estimated at 439/100,000 and 27/1000 live births respectively."
UNFPA is responsible for procuring a variety of modern contraceptives on behalf of the Malawi Government for the national supply through Tsogolo Langa.
Together with the Ministry of Health, UNFPA and DFID are ensuring that these family planning commodities are not only free to all, but also that they are available for everyone, especially the youth and people with disabilities.
The Tsogolo Langa programme empowers women to make their own informed choices, so that they can voluntarily and safely choose if and when to have children, and how many they want to have.
Voluntary family planning gives women and girls control over their own lives and futures, and boosts economic development.