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Sexual health services in Malawi to get UK boost

PICTURED: A mother with her child in Malawi. (Photo credit: Lindsay Mgbor/DFID)

THOUSANDS MORE women in Malawi will benefit from family planning services through new support announced by Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin today (Aug 15).

During a visit to the Scotland Malawi Partnership in Edinburgh, Ms Baldwin set out how the six-year programme, called Tsogolo Langa which translates as ‘My Future’, will provide important sexual and reproductive health services for more than 300,000 Malawians and save an estimated 6,000 preventable maternal deaths.

Ahead of the visit Ms Baldwin said: “Every woman has a right to a happy and healthy life. This is about empowering women to take control of their own health and their own futures.

“Malawi’s long term success matters to the UK. That is why I am proud UK Aid is supporting these vital services for hundreds of thousands of young Malawians, allowing them to make decisions on their families and futures in a safe and informed way.”

UK aid will provide access to modern contraceptives, help clinics from running out of stock and provide accurate health information for women in harder to reach rural areas. It will also work with young people to reduce teenage pregnancies and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The Department for International Development (DFID) will work with the Government of Malawi’s Ministry of Health to deliver the programme, supporting the country’s aim to reduce its high teenage pregnancy rate.

Minister of Health and Population for the Government of Malawi, Atupele Muluzi said: “This assistance is very timely as Malawi continues to further stabilise its population growth that is driven by teenage pregnancy, currently standing at 29%.

“Malawi still has a huge gap in providing different choices in contraceptives and this investment will assist in helping young women have more control of their future. Malawi appreciates the support that it receives from the UK Government, as our oldest and largest partner to our development.”

This latest support comes after Ms Baldwin’s visit to Malawi last month during which she announced £37.5 million of new UKAid funding to support early grade learning and keep more girls in school. Ms Baldwin also visited Majete National Park to see how the UK is supporting efforts to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Chief Executive of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, David Hope-Jones said: “We are delighted to meet Minister Baldwin and discuss the scale and impact of the people-to-people and nation-to-nation friendship Scotland enjoys with Malawi.

“We welcome these new DFID funding commitments which will have a significant positive impact in Malawi.”

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