The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).
Author(s): Rebecca Mbuya-Brown and Laston Mteka
Primary Language: English
Malawi is one of the fastest-growing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The country’s population has more than tripled over the past 40 years, and is expected to triple again by 2040. This growth is undermining Malawi’s economic development, destroying its natural resources, and placing immense strain on social services such as health and education. Malawi’s population growth is fueled by high fertility, in combination with a lack of access to family planning services. Religious leaders in Malawi have a key role to play in addressing population and family planning issues. The Health Policy Project worked in partnership with the Government of Malawi to engage religious leaders to become active partners in addressing these issues. With the project’s support, representatives from Malawi’s religious “mother bodies”—the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA), and the Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM)—came together in an interfaith effort to draft this advocacy guide. Two versions of the guide were created, one for Muslim leaders and one for Christian leaders. These guides are intended to serve as tools to support religious leaders’ advocacy efforts on population and family planning. The guides were translated into the local Chichewa language to reach a wider audience of religious leaders.