Dec 15, 2011, 1:11 PM
United Nations Population Fund recently launched a three-day national family
planning campaign, starting in Farafenni, the North Bank Region of The Gambia.
The campaign brought together young people and women from across the region. The campaign, carrying the strong message: “Family Planning; YES to CHOICE, NO to CHANCE”, specifically targeted young women and men both in and out of schools in the region.
Triggered by the increasing infertility and mortality rate in the country, the UNFPA set on an awareness raising campaign on family planning, HIV testing and cervical cancer screening, which “continues to kill women”.
Utilizing various strategies, the campaign used multi-disease approach as an entry-point to family planning.
This was enhanced through partnering with the SOS Mother’s Clinic, for the Cervical Cancer screening for women in North bank and the satellite villages.
The campaign also involved creating awareness on HIV testing and different contraceptives available in the country.
Declaring the campaign open, the Chief of Upper Baddibu, Ebrahima Ansu, said high mortality at birth is of serious concern to them.
And with such campaign will help women to be mindful of diseases which are curable such as the cervical cancer but yet still continued to kill them.
He also talked on the issue of family planning, saying this gives women idea on how to space their kids, which yield happy and healthy families.
Alhagie Kairaba Keita, Regional Health Director of North Bank East, said: “It is important for everyone to know that when we talk about family planning is not to discourage people from having children but for them to know when and how to have children so that they can give them good upbringing and healthy living.”
He thanked UNFPA for funding the programme.
The Head of the UNFPA office in The Gambia, Mr Kunle said they have lost so many women in child birth complications and one of the ways to prevent this is through family planning.
“We don’t want a situation where mothers are dying,” he said. “Family planning services are available and we will help to bring these services closer to you.”