Malawi registers increase in contraception use

Malawi registers increase in contraception use

Malawi is among six African countries that have recorded a sharp increase in accessing contraceptives in the last 10 years, a new Family Planning (FP) 2030 Measurement Report has showed.

The report, launched two weeks ago in Washington DC, USA, shows that modern contraceptive prevalence (MCP) in Malawi, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Uganda has risen by more than one percent per year since 2012.

The average increase across all regions is 0.3 percent each year but the six countries from southern, eastern and western Africa are the fastest-growing regions, moving at twice the rate.

According to the FP2030 report, this is considered a remarkable achievement, taking into account the challenges that include low funding and the  Covid-19 pandemic that forced a socio-economic meltdown for at least three years after 2019.

 The report covers 85 countries, including all low and lower-middle income as well as a few new middle-income economies that have recently committed to the global partnership.

The FP 2030 is a global partnership working with governments, civil society, multilateral organisations, donors, the private sector and the research and development community to enable millions more women to use contraceptives regardless of their location.

 According to the report, a significant percentage of women in every country that was analysed received their one and only postpartum check either 41-plus days after delivery or not at all.

“This includes more than 40 percent of women in Malawi, Burundi, Uganda, and Madagascar; and more than 20 percent of women in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Zambia, and Kenya. Only in three countries—Kenya, Rwanda, and Zambia—do the majority of women receive their postnatal checks within four hours of delivery,” reads the report.

Malawi is reported to be among countries with relatively low susceptibility in the 12 months after giving birth. Within the region, Zimbabwe has the highest, in the first month, at 48.3 percent followed by Lesotho at 34.1 percent, and Namibia at 22.1 percent.

“By 12 months postpartum, women in all countries, except Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Rwanda have become susceptible to a pregnancy.

“Conversely, in Malawi and Zimbabwe, women whose first births were within marriage had higher modern contraceptive use at six months postpartum,” the report says.

Speaking during the launch in Washington DC, FP2030 executive director Dr. Samukeliso Dube said the report carries success stories of more people using voluntary and rights-based contraception.

 “This year’s report comes at a critical time in our movement. We are at the intersection of several crises: globally, 800 women are dying every day in childbirth. 218 million women in the global south countries have an unmet need for modern contraception, meaning they want to avoid a pregnancy but are not using a modern method,” she explained.

 Parliamentary Committee on Health chairperson Mathews Ngwale expressed delight with the outcome and urged government to improve resource allocation to family planning initiates.

Ngwale said while the country was recording success stories in the region, it was disappointing that “all this is due to donor funding.”

“We, as a government, are putting in very little and this is an issue of concern. Family planning is a very key area and government needs to take a stand and ensure more is being done in the sector,” he said.

On his part, health rights activist Maziko Matemba said the report findings are an important reminder that family planning is critical in ensuring that mothers and girls’ right to health is protected.

“This report should be a serious wake up call for Malawi and other countries when making financial negotiations at national and global level to ensure protection of women and girls’ health and attainment of FP2030 goals,” said Matemba, who is also executive director of Health and Rights Education Programme.

The post Malawi registers increase in contraception use first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Malawi registers increase in contraception use appeared first on Nation Online.