PARHA promotes sexual reproductive health for girls


November 27, 2018

By Yusufu S. Bangura

L-R Executive Secretary Morrison Moisa Saidu, Vice Chairlady Tania Sheriff

People’s Alliance for Reproductive Health Advocacy (PARHA) last Friday held an interactive session with the media with a view to promoting sexual and reproductive health and right in Sierra Leone.

Speaking during the press conference, Executive Secretary of PARHA, Morrison Moisa Saidu, said the alliance, which comprises 50 civil society organisations, was established in 2017 to promote sexual reproductive health and right particularly for young girls and women in Sierra Leone.

He said they collaborated with different groups and individuals to ensure they have a comprehensive policy and legal environment to improve outcomes for sexual reproductive health and right, especially for marginalised communities across the country.

He called on sister organisations to help them promote sexual reproductive health and right in the country.

The Executive Secretary said that the media is a significant channel to educate girls and women on how they should control themselves.

Vice Chairlady at PARHA, Madam Tania Sheriff, said sexual and reproductive health and right (SRHR) is an essential human rights issue.

She said they were working hand-in-glove promoting and protecting SRHR as it was crucial to engendering the wellbeing of all people by enabling them contribute to the overall development of their communities and societies.

She said PARHA influences sexual and reproductive health and right policies in Sierra Leone through constructive engagement, dialogue, education, training and partnership with young girls and women.

Madam Sheriff noted that their aim was to deepen PARHA’s engagement with the public, generate additional grassroots information and fresh perspectives to guide and inform their work.

She added that the consultation was an opportunity for PARHA to build, support, nurture relationships and  promote favourable policy environment for the realisation of sexual and reproductive health for girls and women in Sierra Leone.

She narrated that during their consultations, they uncovered issues that affect young girls, including increased complications during pregnancy and childbirth, unsafe abortion prevalent among young women due to many factors like stigma and societal pressure, inadequate sex and sexuality education in homes, schools and communities.

She said they believe that failure to accelerate implementation of women’s right would weaken not only health and human rights but also efforts to ease poverty, secure equitable social, economic and environmental development.

She added that bringing together stakeholders to test ideas and strategies for developing and sustaining advocacy campaigns was in line with their overall partnership approach to ensuring an enabling policy environment for sexual and reproductive health rights to thrive in Sierra Leone.

“We are calling on everyone to join us advocate for policies, laws and also transform prevailing norms and behaviours to build the groundwork for improvement in maternal and child mortality rates, accelerate the reduction for preventable deaths of woman, children and adolescents and ensuring their health and well-being in Sierra Leone,” She said.