Ngwale, Yicod, PYAO

Youth Advocacy Pushes for Increased SRHSR Funding in National Budget

Youth-led organizations, including the Youth Initiative for Community Development (YICOD), All for Youth, and Phalombe Youth Arms Organisation (PYAO), mobilized the SRMNCAH Youth Platform to engage key Parliamentary Committee chairpersons on Health, HIV Management and Nutrition, Health, and the Youth Caucus.

The platform’s aim is advocating for greater inclusion of youth-friendly health services in the National Budget to bolster access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services and Rights (SRHSR) for young people.

During the interface, PYAO Executive Director Vincent Makuluni Thom who is the platform's monitoring and evaluation officer, highlighted critical gaps discovered through a budget analysis.

"We lack a specific budget line for youth-friendly health services, impeding our ability to accurately track allocations for SRHSR. It's imperative to realign indicators and budgetary allocations for effective monitoring," Thom emphasized.

In his remarks, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Mathews Ngwale, urged youth involvement in budgetary and policy processes, recognizing their vital role in shaping health agendas.

On his part, Health Rights activist Maziko Matemba echoed the sentiment, underlining the importance of engaging youth in health discussions, particularly regarding sexual and reproductive health rights.

Baba Steven Malondera, chairperson for the parliamentary youth caucus, echoed the urgency of involving young people in health-related dialogues, emphasizing their right to comprehensive health services.

Platform’s concerted efforts underline the crucial role of youth participation in shaping policies and budgetary allocations, ensuring inclusivity and prioritization of SRHSR in the national health agenda.

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