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The 2015-16 Demographic and Health Survey-DHS- findings were recently released in Lilongwe where among key findings; the maternal mortality ratio has decreased from 675 to 439 per 100,000 live births.  For the first time, the DHS included findings on obstetric fistula indicating the prevalence of 0.6% among women aged 15 to 49. The results further show that 78.4% of these women sought treatment for fistula.

Among other findings, the report shows antenatal care coverage hovering at around 95% and more than 91% of the pregnant women at a health facility.
Significant improvements have also been recorded in contraceptive use. The report shows that modern contraceptive use by currently married women has increased from 7% in 1992 to 58% in 2015-16 while the unmet need has declined from 37% to 19% within the same period. The findings further show that fertility rate for Malawi has been declining from 6.7 in 1992 to 4.4 in the year 2015-16.

On HIV and AIDS, overall, 8.8% of Malawian aged 15 to 49 are HIV Positive. Among the youth aged 15 to 24, HIV prevalence is estimated at 3% but higher in females (4.9%) and only 1% among men.

These findings provide a necessary benchmark for UNFPA as it finalizes its 7th country programme and prepares for the new country programme. Detailed DHS 2015-16 report can be downloaded at