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Radio Programs Prompt Health Services for Remote Villages in Malawi

NKHOTAKOTA, Malawi (May 31, 2024) - A local radio station's programming on reproductive health access has led to new mobile clinics visiting two remote villages in the Nkhotakota district.

In February, DRP-partner Nkhotakota Radio aired a series of programs highlighting the lack of health facilities in several area villages, where youth would have to travel 15 kilometers or more to obtain services like family planning, HIV testing and counseling, and antiretroviral therapy.

The radio programs featured interviews with young people from the villages of Mowe and Maliwa describing the challenges they faced in accessing reproductive healthcare.

Jossein Chizala, the Youth Friendly Health Services coordinator, was a guest and heard their concerns.

"We have done mobile clinics at Mowe and Maliwa. Patronage was good. We had 115 youths at Maliwa and 117 at Mowe," Chizala said. "We provided services like family planning methods, HTC (HIV Testing and Counseling), ART (antiretroviral therapy) services, all thanks to Radio Nkhotakota for enlightening our office about the need in these villages."

While these initial clinics were one-time visits, DRP-trained youth mentor Moses Kaluvi says his youth reporters at the radio station will follow up with health authorities to push for regular visits by the mobile clinics in Mowe and Maliwa.

The situation underscores how local media can shine a light on gaps in rural healthcare access and spur officials to take action to better serve remote communities.


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