…ups effort to reduce maternal mortality
June 14, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
In a bid to reduce maternal mortality, Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Sanitation, last week trained some 50 nurses on the use of the intra uterine device (IUD) and implant insertion, as part of the Family Planning 2020 Project, targeting State Enrolled Community Health Nurses (SECHN) from four districts – Moyamba, Port Loko, Bo and Kenema.
The trainings were held in Bo, at the Sahara Hotel and Port Loko respectively.
The Sustainable Development Goal three seeks to reduce global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 births, with no country having a maternal mortality rate of more than twice the global average.
According to Kunle Dehinsilu, Social Marketing and Sales Director of Marie Stopes Health Solution, the objective of the Family Planning 2020 project was to build the capacity of nurses in providing for the family planning needs of the people.
“We have trained the nurses in order to increase the contraceptives prevalence rate (CPR). There is need for more training and we will also train nurses in other districts so as to ensure that maternal mortality is reduced,” said Dehinsilu.
She explained that women who choose the implant Jadelle last for five years, during which they cannot be pregnant, adding that the contraceptive would help reduce maternal mortality rate and teenage pregnancy in the country.
She explained that if someone experiences any side effect due to the use of contraceptive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would affect every user the same way, but an indicator that a foreign body has been inserted into the user’s body, while normality could be subsequently restored.
“Maternal mortality is what the government is striving to reduce. Even though contraceptive lasts for five years, it can be removed at the discretion of the clients. The myths and misconceptions that people have about the use of contraceptives is a stereotype towards the users,” she said.
Project Manager of Family Planning 2020, Mariatu Veronica Koroma, disclosed that the rate of teenage pregnancy was high during the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Diseases (EVD). She said that the aim of the project was to ensure teenage pregnancy is reduced in the country.
She added their goal was the availability of family planning in every rural district in the country so that women would have a choice as to which contraceptive to use.
“At the end of this project, we want to see a total of 1,550 and 2,325 clients being provided with IUD and implant from now to 30th September this year,” she said.
Tom Major, one of the trainees and a nurse attached to the Tikonko Community Health Centre in Bo District, noted that the training came at the right time as Sierra Leone is recording one of the highest maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rates in the sub-region. He said that the use of contraceptives would help prevent women from unwanted pregnancy, thus reducing maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rate in the country.
Beatrice Tommy, Reproductive Health Programme Representative, described the training as timely because of the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the country. She encouraged the nurses to communicate to their colleagues if they encounter any difficulty during the insertion of the IUD or the Implant.
District Health Officer in Bo, Dr. Alhaji Sani Turay, pledged to help sustain the project and that the health ministry and Marie Stopes crave to see an increase in the number of implant and IUDs inserted within a shortest possible time.
Dr Turay encouraged the nurses to do in-house trainings when they return to their respective PHUs so that their colleagues would also benefit from knowledge they have gained, adding that they should ensure the positive impact of the project is felt within their various communities. He also promised to be visiting the PHUs in a bid to monitor how nurses are implementing method they have learnt at the training.