The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has worked alongside Malawi’s Ministry of Health (MOH) to strengthen its Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (FP/SRH). Building on this strong partnership, USAID remains committed to working with the MOH, development partners and civil society to address the rapid population growth that remains a development challenge in Malawi.
Malawi has had tremendous success in increasing access to and use of contraceptives. Knowledge of family planning is nearly universal at 98% and 99% for women and men respectively. The contraceptive prevalence rate has increased from 26% in 2004 to 42% in 2009. However, the fertility rate has moved slightly from 6.3 children per woman in 2005 to 5.7 children per woman in 2010. One in 4 adolescent girls is pregnant by the age of 19. The high fertility rate negatively impacts maternal and child health outcomes and increases the demand for resources.
USAID is strengthening the FP/SRH program through a comprehensive approach that includes targeted service delivery, supply chain strengthening, advocacy and policy interventions.
Service delivery interventions focus on increasing access to FP/SRH services for rural and underserved communities through community-based distribution of FP in 24 districts. USAID improves the quality of family planning services through training and supportive supervision, particularly in the provision of long term and permanent acting methods. In 2012, USAID trained 2,145 service providers and obtained one million Couple-Years of Protection. USAID also increases options for contraceptive choice and service provision by building the capacity of local organizations to deliver quality FP services. Partnerships with the Family Planning Association of Malawi, Banja la Mtsogolo, Adventist Health Services and Christian Health Association of Malawi broadened the reach and scope of USAID’s FP program.
USAID’s program raises awareness of the impact of rapid population growth through national and district level advocacy interventions that target communities, religious leaders and decision makers to increase support of voluntary FP/SRH. These advocacy interventions have enhanced the visibility of FP as a development issue resulting in the passing of the Population Policy by the Government of Malawi, increased district-level advocacy for FP/SRH funding and the creation of a specific budget line item for FP commodities in 2012.
Family Planning is Essential for Malawi’s Sustainable Future
Funding (FY 2012)
JHPIEGO, John Snow, Inc., Population Services International, Central Commodity Procurement, Adventist Health Services, Population Reference Bureau, Christian Health Association of Malawi, Engender Health, Banja la Mtsogolo
Miriam Lutz, Chief
Office of Health
Last updated: October 04, 2013