By Daniel Namwini
Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country have urged youth to go and access youth friendly health services in their nearby hospitals for them to live healthy lives.
Sexual reproductive health rights Africa Trust (SAT) and Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA) said this recently during interface meeting on “My health, my right” at Bwaila secondary school in Lilongwe.
In an interview, Youth Hub Coordinator for SAT, Linly Dumuka said most youths in the country they do not know where they can access their friendly health services due to lack of civic education.
“We are encouraging these youths more especially teenagers to meet with medical specialist in various health centres so that they can access sexual reproductive health rights services for them to leave healthy lives,” she said.
She added that they are trying to encourage the youth to access friendly services through the formation of youth clubs, as a platform for sharing information and knowledge on sexual reproductive health rights related issues.
Therefore, she said the organisations are mobilizing teenagers to appreciate the challenges they face and how they can overcome them through youth friendly services.
“We want to ensure that youths are enjoying positive health living through access to youth friendly health services in the health centres. One of the key areas is to encourage them to access sexual reproductive health rights services,” she added.
National Coordinator for Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA), Mphatso Baluwa concurred with Dumuka saying youth friendly services has reduced some challenges the youth were facing.
“Most of HIV positive teenagers were walking long distances to access ART. At times, they also missed normal clinic services because they were afraid of being mocked by other people,” she said.
Ebenezer Mapemba, 18, who is a MAGGA youth leader said youth friendly services has helped them to bring together many youths are now conversant with HIV and AIDS programs and sexual reproductive health issues.
“The coming of youth friendly services has helped us to access good and quality health services at the health centres. We are also benefiting from the civic education on HIV and AIDS is also helping us to fight against the disease in our societies through using of condoms,” she said.