Marie Stopes ‘Back- to-school’ promo:Thousands to benefit from reproductive health services
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Marie Stopes Sierra Leone has on Tuesday October 20, 2020 unveiled a new promotion which aims to reach out to thousands of women and girls across the country with quality, personalized and confidential sexual and reproductive health services free of user fees.
The back-to-school promotion will run for a period of one month and women and girls, especially those in schools will have access to Long Acting and Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), specifically IUD (Coil) and Implant (captain band), including sexual reproductive health counseling.
Programme Operations Director, Emerica King, said the services will be available at their outreach sites and community health centers across the country from October 20 to November 20, 2020.
“About 15% of our girls have sexual intercourse before 15 years and adolescent pregnancies are among the top 10 countries in the world. In effect, the launch of this promotion is timely as our girls return to schools,” she stated.
According to her, women and girls, especially those in schools need to have access to sexual and reproductive health services including family planning and the knowledge and skills necessary to make adequate, health and informed decisions about their lives.
Madam King spoke about the need to have the Safe Motherhood Bill developed because it would be beneficial to women and girls.
A representative from the Teenage Pregnancy Secretariat, Mary Coba welcomed the launched of the promotion and noted it timeliness because children, especially girls are current in schools. She pledged the unflinching support of the secretariat to ensure that thousands of girls have access to these services in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
According to her, Marie Stopes and the secretariat were doing the same work but with different approaches and methods to reduce teenage pregnancy.
She called for multi-sectoral approach to reduce teenage pregnancy in the country and disclosed that Pujehun have the highest number of teenage pregnancies.
While welcoming the launch, Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura called for community partnership to ensure the success of the promotion because it needs to be impacted the choices beneficiaries make greatly.
Country Director of Marie Stopes, Dr. Ufuoma Omo-Obi said: “We remain strongly committed to providing quality family planning and sexual reproductive health services to women and girls and couples to have the power to choose a contraceptive method of choice.”