Youth Reporting Raises Awareness About Teen Pregnancy
Malawi's Ministry of Health data indicates that between January and June 2020 there was a 100% increase in the number of child pregnancies (ten to 19 year olds) in Phalombe District compared to last year. In 2019, between January and June, there were approximately 2500 child pregnancies. This year, over the same period, there were approximately 5,000 child pregnancies. DRP does not work in Phalombe.
In Mangochi, a district where DRP has two partner stations, there was a 19% increase in child pregnancies over this same period. This is in part due to the frank conversations that the stations have had on air and how this in turn leads to more open communication between youth and parents and between partners.
Over this time, DRP has been training journalists and guiding them in producing quality programming that is helping to mitigate the secondary impacts of the pandemic. Programming is addressing the needs of youth and engaging them with alternative activities while schools are closed, raising awareness about increases in sexual assaults, and encouraging continued use of local health services. Programs have addressed sexual health, contraceptives, and HIV/AIDS testing.