In Malawi, as in many countries across the world, funds meant for sexual reproductive health and family planning are being diverted to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and the UN has stepped in to prevent these services from grinding to a halt.
In Disenti, a village in southern Malawi, mother of five Dorica Zuze is listening to health workers explain how to better protect herself from COVID-19. She is taking the virus seriously, but she’s also worried that her local health centre will no longer be able to provide family planning services.
Malawi has a weak health system, with a high number of patients for every doctor, and frequent drug shortages. The UN family planning agency, UNFPA, is helping to ensure that these services are maintained, implementing a six-year, $50 million programme focusing on young people in underserved rural communities.
Thanks to the programme, Ms. Zuze has been able to choose a contraceptive implant that will last three years. She, and many like her, can now focus on her future.