Stakeholders in Kono, Moyamba pledge to practise Family Planning

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 July 30, 2018

stakeholders
Women queue for contraceptives in Kono

Stakeholders in Kono and Moyamba have pledged to the Government of Sierra Leone, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Ministry of Health and Sanitation and its partners that they will practice family planning in their districts.

The pledge was made by some women during the commemoration of this year’s World Population Day celebrations in the two districts, themed ‘Family planning is a human rights’.

In Kono, District Council ChairmanSolomon Gbondo, who chaired the event at the Kumba Satta Memorial Hall in Koidu city, appealed to attendees to take the message about family planning seriously as it is very important for the advancement of the country.

Gbondo said childbearing is not a competition and encouraged women to breastfeed for two years, pointing out that most of the social problems in the country were due to overpopulation, and urged them to prioritise family planning.

In his keynote address, District Medical Officer in Kono, Dr. Andrew Young, disclosed that research indicates that 800 women worldwide die daily while delivering babies, and stressed that the primary importance of the community event was to get more and more people to know how to boost their reproductive health as well as pay attention to their rights in relation to family planning.

According to Dr. Young, access to contraceptives has increased significantly and enabled women and their partners to better determine the number and spacing of their children, thus reducing maternal and newborn mortality.

He added that adolescent sexual and reproductive health services should be increased to ensure that young girls and women have greater power over their sexual and reproductive lives, affirming that this could be achieved by enhancing services and facilities offered, including a wider range of modern contraceptive methods.

UNFPA Adolescent Reproductive Health Specialist, Patricia Bah, lamented that for the first quarter of this year alone Kono district has recorded 628 teenage pregnancies.

Bah stated that mortality rate is high in Sierra Leone and that 47 percent of maternal deaths are young girls, adding the death rate among teenagers who bear children is high, encouraging all to use family planning services that are free in all government hospitals nationwide.

At the District Council Hall, Chiefdom Speaker of Kayamba Chiefdom in Moyamba district, Mr. Allieu Mboyawa, revealed that they have formulated byelaws on family planning.

He said the penalty for sexual penetration is 15 years imprisonment and promised that chiefdom stakeholders would address the issue of teenage pregnancy and early marriage.

The Chief Administrator of Moyamba District Council, Mrs. Veronica Fortune, who did the launch of World Population Day celebrations, urged guests to join family planning services as the district is plagued by high rate of teenage pregnancy and early child marriages.