90 peer health educators from junior and senior secondary schools and the
University of The Gambia were recently sensitised on positive reproductive
The forum held at Tendaba Camp in the Lower River Region was organised by the Gambia Family Planning Association (GFPA) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The first four days of the training were dedicated to participants from Lower River and West Coast Regions, as well as Banjul and Kanifing Municipality.
This was followed by an additional four days for peer health educators from the NBR, CRR and URR.
The participants were introduced to various family planning methods and principles and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
The forum also discussed the effects of harmful traditional practices, teenage pregnancy and drug and substance abuse on the health of young people.
Declaring the training open, the Executive Director of GFPA, Yankuba Dibba, described the forum as imperative to the welfare of young people.
Mr Dibba described adolescence as a tempting and crucial stage of human development.
“A slight mistake during this period can haunt one for a life time,” he declared.
He hoped that the training would help to guide the participants’ reproductive health and commended UNFPA for the support.
Alieu Jammeh of GFPA said the training sought to understand the reproductive mindset of youth so as to design a programme that suits them.
He said family planning is meant to ensure a healthy and happy life for children and stressed the need for parents to counsel their young ones on reproductive health.
GFPA senior programme officer, Momodou Njie, said their services are diverse and optional.
He said two-thirds of STIs occur among young people aged between 15 and 24, hence the need to sensitise them.
GFPA youth coordinator, Kassamanding Touray, noted that 60 per cent of The Gambia’s population is youth; many of whom are sexually active.
She emphasized that enlightening them on reproductive health means empowering them for life.
Mrs Touray noted that GFPA enjoins young people to abstain from sex adding that their services are available to those who unfortunately cannot.
The Principal Nursing Officer for LRR, Basirou Drammeh, and GFPA WCR Coordinator, Yahya Touray, who served as resource persons, urged the participants to jealously safeguard their reproductive health.