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Joan Angella Phiri

Joan Angella Phiri - 2019 Nominee
Position: Tunza Social Franchising Demand and Market Coordinator
Organization: PSI Malawi
Current Location: Malawi, Africa
Advanced Diploma from Malawi Polytechnic Continuing Education Center
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
She has Completed coursework for Bachelor of Science in Public Health and currently waiting for graduation in November 2019.
75 Public Votes Reached!
She has trained mentored and supervised over 50 community interpersonal communications agents effectively thereby enhancing the delivery of FP services and managed to dispel myths and misconceptions related to long term methods in Malawi. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Working with 30 Tunza franchised private clinics in rural and semi-urban communities in Malawi, I have trained and mentored over 50 Community agents since 2014 to disseminate messages about family planning methods thereby increasing uptake. Through my work,more than 100 women are successfully being referred to take up family planning at Tunza clinics each month.I have developed messages around Long Acting Contraceptives(LARC) to help in increasing uptake which is currently low in Malawi due to lack of knowledge and Myths.We have seen an increased LARC uptake each month from 10% to 40% of overall monthly data collected from our Tunza clinics and I continue to put effort in developing community/clinic tailored demand creation strategies which will meet specific community needs.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Growing up as young woman i had very limited access to information about contraceptives making it so hard for me to make the right contraceptive choice. The majority of young women in Malawi face similar challenges. Coupled with myths and misconceptions about long acting and reversible contraceptives this has resulted in very low uptake for contraceptives among young women with only 38% of young women aged 15-19 using a modern method of contraceptive.This is what sparked my passion for FP.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

Since I coordinate my project and work with many people,I talk less and listen more so that i do not miss out information that may help me to effectively communicate to others. I also do my fair share of the work even more, thereby leading by example and learning at the same time,for example during my regular field visits I conduct sessions and enter data just like my community health workers do. And lastly, I demonstrate honesty and integrity by keeping my commitments and taking responsibility.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I will use the platform to enhance my skills around advocacy, communications and leadership. In addition to that I will also use the platform to share my story and the work I do to the Global family planning community. If awarded the $1000 grant, I will use it to provide free family planning services to young people in rural and hard to reach communities. I will conduct 3 outreach activities in Hewe, Enukweni and Ekwendeni which have highest unmet need for FP due to their geographical location.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work
Working well with the ministry of health and other governmental agencies is key to acheiving our objectives in health delivery and communication. Community Health workers are a bridge between the community and the project.Give them enough knowledge and you will see an increase in Long Acting and Reversible Contranceptives which have so many myths and misconceptions in Malawi. By interacting with women in our communities,we learn how to best serve them and create a good environment for honest and open discussion about their reproductive health.

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