On the 12th Of January, 2018, the National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM) organised a Youth Consultation Meeting on the Draft Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy at Bridgeview Hotel in Lilongwe.The rationale behind the meeting was to ensure that the rhetoric behind 'Youth Participation ind decison making process,' is put into practice. In addition to that, the Draft strategy focuses more on the Youth,therefore NYCOM deemed it imperative to involve key stakeholders behind the Draft Strategy.
Present at the meeting were Professor Adamson Muula, Ministry of Health and Population Consultant, officials from the Ministry of Health, the representative from the Ministry of Labour,Youth, Sports, Manpower and Development (MoLYSMD) the Chief Youth Executive Officer Mr Joseph Sinkhala, various youth leaders across the country, the media and other members from different organisations.
Opening the fuction was Mr Asharn Kossam, NYCOM's Programme Officer-Youth Reproductive Health, who thanked all the key stakeholders for gracing the occassion and encouraged all the participants to actively participate in the delibarations.
In additon to that, the Chief Youth Officer also acknowledged involvement of young people in the strategy would enable young people develop a sense of ownership of the strategy.
‘Nothing about us, without us’. This mantra by the youth in Malawi is key central to today’s meeting. It is under the principle of participation that NYCOM deemed it fit to engage the personnel and partners behind the Draft National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy,' Sinkhala said.
The function also saw Professor Muula make a presentation on key issues in the new draft strategy. Some of the key issues highlighted included ; menstrual hygiene, maternal health, fistula and contraceptive use among others. The Proffesor also highlighted for the need to intestify interministerial coordination so that there is effective and efficient execution of policies and that clashes of interests are ironed out.
The lead consultant used an interactive approach to his presentation. He posed questions and called for suggestions from the various young patrons.
Later, the young leaders were divided in groups and they were required to brainstorm ideas and suggestions to the consultant for consideration and inclusion.