The Gambia has joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Population Day at a ceremony held at Sanyang village, Kombo South, West Coast Region (WCR).
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations”.
This year’s commemoration was organised by NPCS in partnership with the regional authorities in the West Coast Region.
In his statement, Ebrima Mballow, the governor of West Coast Region, said the government of The Gambia has placed population issues high on their development agenda and they recognized the right to access to quality maternal and child care. He assured the gathering that they would do all they could to provide quality and affordable health care to all Gambians as well as help them know that family planning is a human right; it saves life; empowers women, men and adolescents. “Therefore, a planned family is a happy and healthy family,” Governor Mballow stated.
He revealed that the population of the Greater Banjul Area is increasing at an alarming rate of 58% of the total population. The largest proportion of the population lives in Brikama (37.1%) followed by Kanifing (20.3%), Basse (12.8%) and Kerewan (11.9%).
According to him, it is a proven fact that women who choose family planning are healthier and face lower risk of maternal death. Children born to women who space their pregnancies, he went on, tend to be healthier and face reduced risk of death in their first five years.
He commended UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP and other partners for choosing WCR to host this year’s commemoration.
Ngaling Abubacarr Sambou, the Regional Health director of WCR, stated that the theme for this year’s celebration; “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations” dearly indicates that family planning has the potential to enhance the health of women. Therefore, he added, investment in family planning according to experts, can propel development forward, and at the same time seen to be critical to the attainment of the new sustainable goals.
He said the Ministry of Health has firm conviction that The Gambia government is committed to family planning as a mean that can contribute immensely to maternal, neonatal and child health positive outcomes.
For her part, Sabally Saidykhan, NPCS desk officer WCR, said this year’s World Population Day, coincides with the London Family Planning Summit that would further advance the agenda of the consortium of donors and stakeholders that make up the Family Planning 2020 initiative, which aims to extend access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020.
Other speakers at the event include the National Assembly member for Kombo South Kebba K. Barrow and the alKalo of Sanyang village Jabaro Jabbi all thanked the authorities for choosing Kombo South to host this important commemoration.
by Samba Jawo