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In 2020:Marie Stopes averted over 200,000 ‘unintended pregnancies’

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

According to the Service, Marketing and Communications Manager for Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, over 200,000 unintended pregnancies were averted in 2020.

Emmanuel Jah told this medium in an exclusive interview that the huge number recorded was as a result of the provision of quality family planning and sexual reproductive health services to clients.

He said thousands of clients were able to access their service delivery points across the country for quality healthcare services even though at the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, people were afraid to do so due to misconceptions around the virus.

“For sexual reproductive health services, we were able to record close to 200,000 in 2020. Over 45% of adolescents access our services across the country. We were also able to come to the aid of over 30,000 clients as a result of complications coming from unsafe abortion procedures,” he said and added that they were able to treat and provided confidential affordable care to them.

He described 2020 as a year of many surprises but noted that they were able to record huge success amidst unforeseen challenges.

“Sierra Leone is known for high maternal mortality and through our services; we were able to avert 1,500 maternal deaths. They would have died as a result of child bearing complications if not for our interventions. We averted close to 100,000 unsafe abortions,” the Service, Marketing and Communications Manager disclosed.

He continued that their interventions always help government to cut down their expenditure in the health sector and as a result, they help government save 7.1 million pounds because of the quality services they offer to clients.

With regards challenges, Jah said they experience dropdown in clients’ visitation to service delivery points at the initial stage of the coronavirus pandemic as they see health service providers as agent of the virus.

“Another major challenge for us was access to drugs as a result of the closure of the airspace. Most of our drugs are sourced from outside. We experience difficulty in bringing in new products or supplies for the constant running of our service delivery points,” he noted.

There seems to be a general acceptance from clients and Sierra Leoneans in general as a result of the lifesaving services Marie Stopes has been offering, especially in 2020.

Jah assured of continued improvement in the services they offer as they hope to engage schools to educate pupils about family planning services and also joined government in distributing sanitary pads.

“You are going to see lots of improvement as we are always growing. We started with some improvement in December 2020 with the introduction of our Ultrasound scan services in all our clinics. We have so much in store for our clients and we are poised to serve more people,” he assured.

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