The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently held a three-day intensive campaign on family planning, HIV test and cervical cancer free screening in Farafenni in the North Bank Region.
The exercise dubbed- 220 campaign, targeted youth and women both in and out of schools in the North Bank Region. It was held on the theme “Family Planning: Yes to choice, No to chance”.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ansu Tamba Jammeh, the Chief of Upper Baddibou said that scaling up of family planning programmes can greatly support the country in harnessing the Demographic Dividend and ultimately reducing poverty.
He described the campaign as laudable as mortalities at birth is a concerned to The Gambia.
Chief Jammeh opined that with the nature of the country’s population coupled with the low contraceptive prevalent rate (CPR) and high need for family planning contraceptives and commodities, means that the population will continue to be dependent.
He urged the people in the area to disseminate the message gained at the forum to their various communities.
The UNFPA Head of Office, Kunle Adeniyi elaborated on the number of women who died during child birth, saying one of the ways to prevent this is family planning.
“According to the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 41% of women aged 20-49 are married by age 18, indicating a high rate of child marriage with risks of longer lifetime fertility and its consequences on the socio-economic development. With a current total fertility rate of 5.6 as per the DHS in 2013, contraceptive prevalent rate (CPR) of 9% and unmet need for family planning of 24%; the population is projected to double by 2030”, he stated
Alhagie Karaba Keita, the Regional Health Director of North Bank Region East, said it is important for each and everyone to know that when we talk about family planning it is not to discourage people from having children, but for them to know when and how to have children so that they can give them good upbringing.
by Saffiatou Colley