- says PPASL Clinic Coordinator
February 27, 2015 By Samuel Ben Turay
Planned Partnership Association of Sierra Leone (PPASL) Clinic Coordinator, Cylvia Ogwair, has told Concord Times in exclusive interview that family planning has dramatically reduced both abortion and teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone.
“In 2014 over 13,000 people were given family planning by PPASL in the country. This is a program that helps people to fully prepare before giving birth,” Ogwair said, adding that despite the successes achieved some women have reported complications after using the family planning drugs.
She said: “PPASL strives to achieve lasting improvement in sexual and reproductive health of women with emphasis on the young people. We provide and promote quality and affordable SRH information, counselling, services and rights.”
She said their key focus is to improve access to maternal healthcare and to reduce the risk of maternal and infant death.
“PPASL accesses the community through 5 service points, 12 workplace outreach projects, and 3 youth centres, 40-strong permanent staff team backed by nearly 300 volunteers, 9 community-based distributors (CBDs), and a Youth Action Movement membership of 150. In 2011, PPASL delivered 70,000 sexual and reproductive health services,” she explained.
She disclosed that there is no fewer than 90% prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country, and that they are finding ways to handle the psychological and physical trauma associated with the practise.
She said most of the work they do is directed towards behaviour change communication (BCC), using community leaders, police and army personnel as well as Muslim and Christian groups.
“Safe motherhood, family planning, and the sensitization of young people to SRH concerns are also central to the direct services which PPASL provides,” said Ogwair. “PPASL does direct delivery of sexual and reproductive health services and education programmes, international advocacy, intervention in disasters and emergencies, and the development of pan-national projects in response to specific needs.”