The role of community leaders on adolescent HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights in Mulanje, Malawi

Chancy Skenard ChimatiroAdamson Sinjani Muula


Background: We conducted this study to understand roles of community leaders on adolescents HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) rights in Mulanje-Malawi. We assessed how each role influence health seeking behaviour and improve SRH rights among adolescents from the local perspective. Methods: A qualitative study approach was used. We conducted 12 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and 17 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with community leaders. Purposive sampling technique was used to select study participants for both KIIs and FGDs. Random sampling technique was used to identify one Traditional Authority (TA) and 12 villages where FGDs were conducted. Inductive thematic content analysis was done guided by the study objectives to generate emerging themes. Results: Community leaders have many roles on adolescents HIV and SRH. These roles include advisory, encouragement, regulating and restricting cultural practices, formulating bye-laws and handling sexual abuse complaints. However, community leaders with religious affiliation have shown to have different views with those representing other institutions not affiliated to religion. In addition, the majority of community leaders indicated low level of knowledge on adolescent’s S...Continue Reading

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