Scottish Secretary of State, David Mundell has commended the collaborative partnership between the Department for International Development (DFID) and Marie Stopes Malawi, known locally as Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM).
On a recent visit to BLM’s Falls Clinic, Mundell said the programme's sexual and reproductive health services were “centred on the people that most need it in Malawi.”
BLM was founded 24 years ago and since then, with support from DFID, it has lead the way in delivering low cost and modern contraception. In 2015 alone Falls Clinic was visited by 12,078 family planning clients.
During his visit, Mundell was shown how BLM operates and how funding from DFID is crucial in helping the programme to run its 30 static clinics, 17 mobile outreach teams with over 600 hard-to-reach call points, and the BlueStar Healthcare Network. The Secretary of State was then given a guided tour of the clinic by manager, Confidence Chirwa and the team.
“BLM aims to reduce teenage pregnancy and decrease the likelihood of girls dropping out of school through delivery of sexual and reproductive health services targeted and tailored to the needs of young people.”
As a result of services that BLM provided in 2015, and the continuing use of contraception by clients of previous years, over 300,000 unintended pregnancies, 118,000 unsafe abortions, and 1,200 maternal deaths were prevented in Malwai last year.
This saved the Malawi health system an estimated £13m. In total BLM served 330,000 family planning users last year, and overall it’s estimated that there are currently over 1.1 million women using contraception in Malawi that was provided to them by BLM.