Aug 27, 2009, 6:19 AM
River Region (LRR) Principal Nursing Officer, Basiru Dammeh, has said family
planning reduces wife battering in The Gambia.
He was speaking during an interview at Soma, LRR, where the Family Planning Campaign was ongoing on the theme “Family Planning: yes to choice, no to chance.”
Mr Drammeh recalled when they were young, quarrels between husbands and wives broke out after dinner within their communities and society.
He said because most of the time a woman was breastfeeding it would not allow her to be intimate with her husband and that was why wife battering was common in those days, immediately after dinner.
Now, with the coming of family planning, wife battering has reduced drastically because FP commodities make it easy for both husband and wife to be intimate whilst preventing unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.
The cervical cancer screening was for them to check and see if women have it or not, he said, adding that if those women that are screened have cancer they would be given medicine to tackle the disease.
He said cervical cancer screening is not something that happens everywhere in the country, so bringing the SOS Mothers clinic from Banjul to LRR was something very valuable and important.
Mr Drammeh said if women have cervical cancer it would disturb them a lot, adding that it was important for them go for the screening because early detection would potentially save them from it.
“Family planning is not also about just birth spacing but goes further than that. It is about giving the mother enough time to gather strength and be healthy,” he said.
It was also about the health, growth and welfare of the child, he said, adding that family planning is about the health, growth and welfare of the family as a whole.
According to him, family planning by the traditional method has been in existence since time immemorial and that some women would tie something around their waist.
He said other women would be sent to their mother’s house to go and breastfeed for a long time whilst others have a big house called “women house” where breastfeeding mothers would be stationed away from their husbands till they are done.
He said in modern family planning, there is no need for a woman to go far away from her husband but a woman could stay with her man whilst breastfeeding and would not get pregnant.
Lamin Saidykhan, representing the Governor of Lower River Region (LRR), thanked the UNFPA for coming up with such initiative, especially for child bearing mothers who are sexually active.
He said if a woman’s system is not functional it would effect the population and in turn effect development.
According Mr Saidykhan, this kind of initiative helps a lot of people in knowing their health status regarding cervical cancer and also HIV/AIDS.
He called on the community to come out and do the screening for their own benefit to be able to know their health status.
Bakary Conta, a nurse at Soma Health Centre, said HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence but people make it difficult on themselves.
He said the disease could be in you for 40 years without people noticing or knowing what is happening to you.
He said HIV/AIDS should not be hidden but is to be revealed so that the society could help you.
He also urged the people to come and do the cervical cancer screening.
Sheriff Darboe, a retired Nurse at soma health, currently on a contract at support society, said the initiative was to fight against the scourge that is sexual transmitted diseases.
He urged everybody to come together to fight against HIV/AIDS and also do the testing so as to know their health status.