The governor of the Lower River Region (LRR), Fanta Bojang Samateh has stated that the government of The Gambia is fully committed to strengthening Family Planning services in the country.
This statement was read on her behalf by the LRR Regional Ombudsman’s officer Lamin Saidykhan, during the opening ceremony of a three-day campaign to ‘Scale of Family Planning Uptake in The Gambia’.
The activity, according to UNFPA officials, centred on the theme: ‘Yes to Choice, No to Chance’ was organised by UNFPA in partnership with: UNAIDS, NYC, GFPA, MoHSW, SOS Mothers’ Clinic, Nova Scotia Gambia Association, National Population Commission Secretariat, Network of Journalist on Reproductive Health, Population and Development, Think Young Women, Safe Hands for Girls, The Girls’ Agenda, He4She Gambia and Rojalnu.
According to Saidykhan, the scaling of family planning programmes can immensely support the country to harness the demographic dividend by significantly mitigating poverty in the country.
He said that a robust family planning services has the potential to reduce both infant fertility and maternal mortality rates in the country as well as improve the general well-being of women and children.
Saidykhan thanked UNFPA and partners for coming up with such an important initiative especially for the child bearing mothers.
The principal nursing officer for LRR, Basiru Drammeh informed the gathering that with the coming of family planning, wife battering has reduced drastically because family planning commodities make it easy for both husband and wife to be intimated whilst preventing unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.
“Family planning is not only about just birth spacing, but it is also about giving the mother enough time to gather strength and be healthy and it is also about the health of the child growth and his or her welfare,” Drammeh said.
According to him, family planning traditional method has been in existence since time immemorial, adding that some women would tie something around their waist while others would be sent to their mother’s house to go and breast feed for a certain period of time.
He said the modern family planning states that there is no need for a woman to go far away from her husband but a woman can stay with her husband whilst breast feeding her child and would not get pregnant.
During the LRR campaign, the UNFPA campaign team conducted film show at Kani Kunda while mobile clinic exercise was conducted within the communities of Pakalinding and Tonyataba in Jarra West District.
Other speakers at the ceremony were: Bakary Conta a nurse at Soma Major Health Centre and Sheriff Darboe also a retired nurse at Soma Major Health Centre.
by Lamin B. Darboe