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Barwani Msiska

Barwani Msiska - 2016 Winner
Position: MPH Candidate, Intern - Implementation of Immediate Postpartum Long Acting Reversible Contraception in Georgia - Jane Fonda Center
Organization: Rollins School of Public Health - Emory University
Barwani works with gov't and multidisciplinary stakeholders on long term planning, financing, access to contraception for youth & improved FP method mix in Malawi. She coordinated development of the 2015-2020 National Youth Friendly Health Strategy. – Marjorie Macieira, Principal at Macieira Consulting, LLC
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Through RESPOND Project and Reproductive Health Directorate I worked with all districts in developing contraceptives prevalence rate goals & prioritization of FP in their budgeted district implementation plans. Increasing the national budget allocation to FP, adolescent health & use of reversible and permanent acting methods contributing to Malawi's FP 2020 commitments. I co-initiated the Client Oriented Provider Efficient Services Approach for Contraceptive Security in 18 health facilities which increased access to contraception, improved logistics management, quality of care. Supported the design and implementation of the first YFHS Program Evaluation. Through National Youth Council, I initiated radio stations partnership increasing awareness among youth of SRH information and services

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Walking down the street in my community 6 years ago I noticed a number of adolescents that were mothers or pregnant. This prompted me to ask myself and my community what we were doing to safeguard and provide second chances for their transition into adulthood? Learning that Family Planning is a vehicle that breaks the cycle of poverty by empowering adolescents to decide, control their fertility goals and plan their future, fueled my passion to see that change.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

Limited coordination and collaboration among stakeholders in SRHR leading to duplication of programs, gaps in leveraging expertise and resources toward improved youth SRHR outcomes.

Through Health Policy Project I led a multidisciplinary team in the development of Malawi’s first costed 5 year strategy for Youth Friendly Health Services 2015-2020 which was approved by youth, government, donors, CSOs, parents, local leaders re-positioning and providing a benchmark for YSRHR interventions.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

High unmet need for FP in hard to reach areas and among youth is a key challenge. This can be addressed by strengthening health facilities capacity to provide immediate postpartum FP and public private partnerships to support delivery of integrated SRHR services. Mentoring of youth leaders in FP advocacy and evidence based programming. Sustaining advocacy for FP budget line in the national budget and long term campaign on modern FP methods including adolescents fertility needs

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

To contribute to the expansion of comprehensive reproductive health services and information especially LARCs for youth reducing the high adolescent fertility in Malawi. By advocating for local financing for the national FP program beyond the national budget through private public partnerships and social entrepreneurship for health. Building a collaborative platform to lead a youth mentorship program and implementation science research for sustainable and adaptable ASRHR interventions

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