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UNFPA trains journalists on family planning, sexual health

Jul 15, 2015, 9:39 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay in LRR

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Monday started a five-day training workshop for 25 media personnel on sexual and reproductive health, family planning, demographic dividend at the Tendaba Camp in Kiang Central, Lower River Region.

The training, which brought together journalists from both the print and electronic media, is centered on the theme “Communication for results, showcasing UNFPA’s impact”.

It is aimed at involving the media in the work of UNFPA in The Gambia.

Alieu Jammeh of the UNFPA said the training would not only serve as a platform to get journalists up-to-date about the activities of the UNFPA; it would also set the space for the beginning of a new partnership between the UNFPA and media houses.

Momodou Mboge, assistant Country Representative of UNFPA, said achieving the objectives of UNFPA can never be done successfully without looking at partnership such as with the media.

“It is that partnership that today we are trying to draw with media houses to be able to disseminate information relevant to the lives of the people,” he said.

The UNFPA started operations in The Gambia in 1972 and drew its first country programme in 1979; the programme lasted for five years.

Mr Mboge said they are now moving towards their 8th country programme on The Gambia.

In 2013, the UNFPA was evaluated so that it can concentrate on specific areas where more impactful results can be achieved with the limited resources available.

The outcome of the evaluation saw the UNFPA concentrating on one of the key Millennium Development Goals: the reduction of maternal mortality.  Based on that outcome, a strategic plan was developed for the agency covering the period 2014 - 2017.

Mr Mboge said all the UNFPA country offices, worldwide, have to adopt the strategic plan and focus on specific regions with specific interventions.

He said as part of The Gambia’s plan, they will do countrywide activities on such issues  as family planning, sexual and reproductive health, and the provision of equitable and accessible reproductive health services.

He said that despite the fact that it is countrywide, they have narrowed the focus to three intervention areas such as Soma (Soma Health Centre), Kuntaur (Kuntaur Health Centre) and are targeting North Bank Region as the other intervention area.