By Norbert Mzembe
The Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese has empowered the youth and women to demand quality health services from public health facilities in Karonga District.
Moses Mwakisalu, one of the facilitators from the Justice and Peace Desk, said the organization has learnt that women and youth in the district face challenges to access quality health services in various health facilities. He further said, the youth and women do not demand for these services due to lack of capacity.
Mwakisalu mentioned that the population of this country largely comprises of the youth who contribute much to the development of the nation hence the need for them to participate in decision making processes that would help improve their health standards.
“It is for this reason that we have empowered the youth in Karonga District to accessibility of high quality health services for all regardless of their age,” said Mwakisalu.
He said, “We are training these youths and women to be knowledgeable in health issues because they are the heaviest users of health services. In most cases they are deprived of their right to health services by duty bearers due to ignorance.”
He further expressed optimism that following the training, youth and women in Karonga District will now be able to enjoy health services being offered in the district by demanding accountability from duty bearers where necessary.
Karonga District Youth Officer (DYO), Jessie Mwansambo, commended the initiative by the CCJP saying it will really transform the living standards of the youths.
“We as the DYO, we are behind the initiative and my office will negotiate with the district council to give room for the youths to address their concerns pertaining to the challenges they are facing when accessing health services,” said Mwansambo.
She emphasized that being the leaders of today and tomorrow, youths deserve quality health services so that they can contribute effectively to the development of the nation.
Commenting on the matter, chairperson of the Health Service Committee for Karonga District Council, McDonald Tengamowa Munthali, urged the participants to collaborate with Health Advisory Committees in their areas. He also urged them to channel their complaints on health service delivery to the District Council.
The CCJP is empowering the youths and women to participate in the management of public health services through its Osisa funded health governance project. The project is being implemented in Karonga and Chitipa districts.