Traditional leaders geared to end teenage pregnancies

To reduce teenage pregnancies, community leaders in Dowa district have embarked on robust social accountability to improve Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health in the district.

According to statistics, teenage pregnancies in Dowa district are on the rise, Evidence shows that out of 59 pregnancies registered in a day 6 of them are for teenagers.

Revelations were made through the Bwalo forum (Citizen Voice) in Dowa on March 4, 2017 which comprised of Traditional leaders, Councilors, Radio listeners club, Village Development Committee and Area Development Committee members. Members present discussed on issues relating to teenage pregnancies and how best to put to an end cases of this nature.


Bwalo forum open discussions

The discussion attracted different comments from members, Aaron Kaziputa of Group Village Headman Kaziputa urged traditional leaders to set bylaws to ban early marriages in their respective areas hence ensuring that the girl child attain higher education. “I believe these bylaws might address the issues on the ground pertaining teenage pregnancies, issues of the girl child being forced into marriage will be an issue of the past” said Kaziputa.

They agreed to enforce and put into action bylaws that were already passed by the Dowa district council aimed at reducing teenage pregnancies and other traditional practices. Also they agreed that Civic Education to families, teenage pregnancy related cases are likely to be eradicated in the district.

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.