Reducing Girl Child Marriages in Thyolo: A SRH Intervention

Fellows: Pemphero Mphande, Madalitso Juwayeyi, Nellis Nkhata, and Eleanor Nagoli

Grant Year: 2019

Location: TA Nchilemwera, Malawi

Organization: Forum for AIDS Counseling and Training (FACT) and Young Women Can Do It (YWCDI)

Project title: Reducing Girl Child Marriages in Thyolo: A SRH Intervention

Project summary: A key driver of child marriage is teenage pregnancy. If a girl becomes pregnant, she is expected to marry in order to help support the baby and alleviate the burden from her family. According to the Thyolo District Health Officer, 38 out of every 100 babies delivered at Thyolo District Hospital are by teenage mothers. This does not take into account the many young women who choose to give birth at home to avoid hospital fees.

In order to increase girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health services and reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, FACT and YWCDI will advocate with the District Health Officer for the full implementation of youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services at clinics in 17 GVHs in TA Nchilemwera. Working with trained girl leaders from YWCDI, the project team will seek commitments from key traditional and religious leaders and mother’s groups in Nchilemwera to ensure girls are able to access SRH services without stigma or discrimination within the community, while also pushing the Thyolo District Health Officer to commit to implementing quality youth-friendly SRH services for approximately 30,000 girls and boys in the TA.