USAID works with Malawi’s Ministry of Health to strengthen its Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (FP/SRH). Building on a historic partnership, both organizations are implementing the National Sexual Reproductive Health Strategy to increase contraceptive coverage rates from 42% to 60% by 2020. With a rate of 58.6% (including both modern and traditional forms of contraception), Malawi is firmly on-track to achieve this target. USAID also collaborates with development partners and civil society to address rapid population growth, which remains a significant development challenge in Malawi.
Family planning enables women to delay their first pregnancy and space later pregnancies at the safest intervals, reducing the rates of both high-risk pregnancies and maternal mortality. Women who delay childbirth have more opportunities for education and employment, and families who have access to contraception and quality reproductive health services are better able to feed, clothe, educate and provide health care for their children.
USAID encourages comprehensive and efficient programming of resources that expand voluntary contraceptive options and provide high-quality, sustainable family planning and reproductive health services. In recent years, USAID has emphasized increasing youth access to family planning services; improving policy development with regards to FP/SRH; expanding service delivery; improving the mix of contraception options; and developing comprehensive communications messages.
Amos Gumulira, Feed the Children
In 2014, USAID:
- Achieved a total of 1,964,857 Couple Years of Protection (CYP) by improving access to Long Acting and Permanent Methods of contraception. CYP is an estimate of the amount of time a couple will be protected from unwanted pregnancy based on the contraceptive method used.
- Dramatically reduced stockout rates in health facilities from 88% in FY13 to only 24% in FY14. This substantial decrease in stockouts of important family planning tools is the direct result of USAID’s technical assistance to the Ministry of Health regarding supply chain management.
- Developed advocacy and communication platforms targeting young people and religious and traditional leaders on FP/RH interventions, the risks of teenage pregnancy, and the benefits—to both girls and families—of delaying first birth.
- Supported and distributed a Youth Friendly Health Services assessment, which increased provider sensitivity to the FP/RH needs of Malawi’s youth and serves as the basis for the development of a nationwide Youth Friendly Health Strategy for Malawi.
Family planning is essential for Malawi’s sustainable future.
Ministry of Health
John Snow, Inc.
Population Services International
John Hopkins University
Peter Halpert, Health Office Chief
Last updated: April 07, 2015