Improving maternal and child health care through citizen voices

Communities in Zomba on Tuesday April 11, 2017 were privileged to present issues affecting their respective communities at the Zomba District Bwalo. Community Bwalos were given a room for presentations from their respective communities.

In one of the presentations, the Chair for the Youth network of TA Mwambo William Chilomoni hailed PACHI for implementing the social accountability evidenc based project which has beared fruits in exploring issues affecting communities through Bwalo Forums.

“The community Bwalos have brought change in our communities, we have been empowered to demand for our rights on developmental issues and also be able to identify causes of problems affecting our communities” he said.

Among the items on the list, Teenage pregnancies was another topic for discussion from different communities. According to statistics 84 women get pregnant every day in Zomba and 34 maternal deaths were recorded from July 2014-July 2016. 27 percent of these deaths were due to hemorrhage.

The research findings from district dashboard indicate 45 percent of these maternal deaths were contributed by the youths; Lack of information on sexual reproductive health to the youths being the contributing factor.

In her remarks, The Zomba District Youth Officer (DYO) Kate Mwalweni stressed the need to promote Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) in all places so as to enable the youths easily access the medical assistance that they seek from time to time.

“We would like to have youth centers as many as possible so that we help youths in Zomba access information on Sexual Reproductive Health, we are privileged to have PACHI which also has a component of Sexual Reproductive health in the projects being implemented in Zomba” said the DYO


Zomba District Youth Officer (DYO) Kate Mwalweni

“We are yet to promote the YFHS to other health facilities and also hotspots which will be identified in other Traditional Authorities. 80 percent of the youths will have access to Youth friendly health services by 2018” she added.

The Malawi government introduced the Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) program in the year 2000 and in 2007 the Ministry of Health-Reproductive Health Directorate (MOH-RHD) developed Youth Friendly Health Services Standards with the aim of providing quality services to young people.

Community Bwalo forum, an initiative by PACHI, within the RMNCAH social accountability for Every Woman Every Child project (EWEC) aims at improving maternal and child health care through Citizen Voices.