Adolescence and youth of 15 to 19 years continue to face HIV and sexual reproductive health challenges despite the establishment of Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) in Malawi. Teenage pregnancies remain high at 29%. Southern and northern region bears 32% which higher than the national rates. In rural areas, 31% of women age 15-19 have begun childbearing, compared with 21% in urban areas. The health burden resulting from adolescent pregnancies accounts for 20% of maternal deaths and unsafe abortions cause 17% of maternal deaths (MDHS 2015/2016). A UNAIDS report estimated that almost a third of all new HIV infections in Malawi in 2016 occurred among young people aged 15-24.

Access to SRHR services is worse in rural areas due to inequitable deployment of health personnel. YFHS should be accessible, acceptable, equitable, appropriate, and effective. Erulkar and others (2005) studied mainstream clinics and found that these clinics have long waiting time, long distance to clinics, inadequate provider and client interactions, and insufficient time spent for consultation. Therefore, adopting new approaches, will improve health outcomes.

CHICOSUDO focuses on ensuring that adolescents and youth have access to HIV and sexual reproductive health and rights information and services. CHICOSUDO uses Community Base Volunteers and partnership with Community Based Organizations, youth clubs, youth organizations and schools to reach its target beneficiaries. This activities are being implemented in Mulanje, Blantyre and Karonga.

It is against this background where CHICOSUDO is implementing this project that focuses on ensuring that adolescents and youth have access to HIV and sexual reproductive health and rights information and services as their right.

Our goal is to reduce HIV and sexual reproductive health challenges affecting 5,890 adolescents and youth of 15 to 19 years in Mulanje and Blantyre districts by creating demands through access to information and referrals by 2025.

IMPACT

40 Community Based Volunteers trained.
3 Community Based Organization partnerships were formed.
10 Youth Clubs were trained to provide SRH information.
5,567 community members and youth are reached through SRH including HIV prevention, Treatment and Care.

Key activities

Information development and dissemination
Strengthening of youth friendly structures at school and community level
Train youth in peer education.
Promote referral networks with health services providers.
Provide HIV prevention services and family planning products.
Promote safer abortion