January to March is naturally challenging for our teams in Malawi as it is the farming and rainy season.
Our Family Planning and Sexual Health team use these months to spend more time at schools, Under Five clinics and hosting sporting games. However, when the pandemic started, the team had to change their plan as schools closed and other restrictions were introduced.
The challenge of the pandemic has been reflected in the data collected from the local health centre but it has provided Khumbo and Watson, who run the project, with a clear picture of where more focus needs to happen.
Conversations they had with students and young couples highlighted that they only want two or three children compared to traditionally larger families. However, when schools closed the number of teen pregnancies and marriages increased. Despite their active contributions in the Life Skills lessons at school, few teenagers felt comfortable enough to visit the health centre for family planning advice.
This year, the team are opening up discussions with the students to better understand why visiting the clinic is such a taboo and to find a solution.
Click here to read the full report.