Malawi: Bangwe Tops Sexual Diseases Among Youths in Blantyre

Bangwe Health Centre has registered the highest number of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) cases among youths in Blantyre City, according to report of the research conducted by Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development (AIGHD).

Councillor Jomo Osman said plans are underway to put in place by-laws that will reduce sexual activities involving young people.

Speaking during the District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting on Thursday, AIGHD's Research Coordinator, Getrude Finyiza said the research was aimed at assessing functionality and effectiveness of Local Government Structures (LGS).

Finyiza said there was a weak linkages between health centre structures and that capturing of patient's data was a big challenge.

"Findings came from ethnographic data collected through formal interviews and informal conversations with catchment area inhabitants including Village Development Committee (VDC) members, Area Development Committee (ADC) members and health centre staff," said Finyiza.

"We therefore found out that Bangwe HAC members are more active than Mpemba HAC," she said.

The coordinator cited construction of a placenta pit, drug storage and an improved way in which the patients access treatment as some of the achievements of the committee.

Meanwhile, Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) youth-friendly health services coordinator Maness Segula said with 105 youths diagnosed with STIs last month, the centre has topped the list of 23 youth-friendly health facilities in the commercial city, which has 32 health centres. Ndirande Health Centre has the second highest number at 92.

Segula said the high number of STI cases in Bangwe could be attributed to reckless sexual activities in the township.

"It is sad that the youth continue to engage in unprotected sex despite knowing its consequences such as teenage pregnancies, STIs and HIV and Aids," Segula said during the district's stakeholders advocacy meeting that Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement (Ayise) organised under Southern Africa HIV and Aids Information Dissemination Services (SafAids) Transforming Lives Project.

Ayise executive director Marcel Chisi, who facilitated the meeting, blamed poverty on reckless behaviour among youths.

Bangwe Nthandizi ward councillor Isaac Jomo Osman said plans are underway to put in place by-laws that will reduce sexual activities involving young people.

Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Blantyre, Tamanya Harawa has since commended AIGHD for the research findings which he described as an eye opener.

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