Photo Thomas Hagström

Improving sexual and reproductive health health in Mangochi district (2004-2012)


This project has initially started in 1998 in the rural areas of Southern Malawi, in Lungwena. It aims at improving existing sexual and reproductive health services and promoting their availability through a trained network of volunteers. The project increases people’s knowledge about sexual health, especially about sexually transmitted infections, contraception and safe motherhood.


The quality of services is being improved by training personnel especially in issues related to sexual and reproductive health, taking the special needs of young people into consideration and developing the quality of client service.


Bringing reproductive health services close to people increases the access to services: a network of trained village volunteers provide villagers with contraceptive methods and counselling. Key persons in the village communities, such as village chiefs, village midwives, healers and religious leaders, are also provided with information on issues related to sexual health. Information is disseminated to the village communities by means of street theatre and group discussions.

Maternal health is improved by strengthening referral systems but also by enabling an ambulance to take critical patients to Mangochi district hospital. A crucial element in improving maternal health has been the construction of shelters for pregnant women to the vicinity of Lungwena and Makanjira health centers. Therefore pregnant women from distant villages are able to wait for their delivery in the proximity of trained health staff.   


Members of the local community, the Ministry of Health of Malawi and the University of Malawi are responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring the project. The project has been supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and has been funded since 2004 by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.


Further information about the project:


Laura Lipsanen

Adviser on Development Cooperation

+358 9 2280 5125