By Meclina Chirwa

Some young people in the area of Traditional Authority Kabudula in Lilongwe say lack of youth friendly health services at Kabudula health center is fueling teen pregnancies and child marriages.

One of the concerned youths Chikumbutso Chilipa told Timveni that for three months, young people in the area have been struggling to access the services.

He said, "The development is affecting efforts of reducing teen pregnancies and child marriages in the area."

The Malawi government introduced the Youth Friendly Health Services program in the year 2000 aimed at providing quality services to young people.

Youth Friendly Health Services are a key component of Malawi’s National Sexual and reproductive health program to achieve a 60% contraception prevalence rate with a focused increase among the ages 15-24.

The recent increase of teen pregnancies in the country has been attributed to limited access of contraceptives among young people in the country.

However the United States Agency for International Development-USAID 2015 report indicated that sexual awareness among early adolescents aged 10-14 is high with more than 76% of males and 66% of females in this age group having heard of or talked about sex.

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