National Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Policy

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Ministry of Health
The Malawi Government is committed to providing comprehensive and integrated Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRHR) services in line with the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt, 1994. Malawi is also a signatory of the AU Maputo Plan of Action which advocates for integrated SRHR Plan. The Ministry of Health through the Re productive Health Unit has since 1997 coordinated the integration, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of SRHR services at all levels. The Malawi National Re productive Health Programme is the framework through which the Ministry of Health manages SRHR services. The National RH programme goal is to promote through informed choice, safer reproductive health practices by men, women, and youth including use of quality and accessible reproductive health services. In 2002, The Reproductive Health Unit (RHU) developed the Reproductive Health (RH) Policy to guide implementation of SRHR services. The SRHR policy has facili tated coordination between all stakeholders, guided decision makers, protected clients and providers, and provided a justification for allocation of resources. The revision of the SRHR Policy came about due to the need to incorporate emerg ing issues in various components of SRHR and these include Basic Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (BEmONC); Community Based Maternal and Neonatal Care; Cervical Cancer Screening; Youth Friendly health Services, Anti Retroviral Therapy, and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). The emerging issues are in line with both national and international recommendations on SRHR services. These include the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS); African Union SRHR policy guidelines; The Malawi Reproductive Health Strategy 2006 -2010; Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); The Road Map for Accelerat ing the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity in Malawi; and Malawi Gender Policy. Revision of the SRHR Policy involved consultations with organizations implementing RH services, individual health experts, programme managers, health regulatory bodies, training institutions and implementers. The whole exercise would have not been possible without technical and financial support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Ministry of Health would like to thank all individuals and institu tions for their contributions towards successful revision of this document. The Ministry of Health urges all public and private institutions to make maximum use of this policy for proper guidance during implementation of SRHR services.