As efforts to minimize teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality in Liberia continue, the Officer in Charge (OIC) of Banjor Clinic, Madam Christiana Massaqoui, has urged parents to educate their children about the importance of family planning.
Madam Massaqoui was speaking over the weekend at the National Empowerment Program for Women and Girls (NEP) sponsored by Oxfam in partnership with Action Aid Liberia.
She explained that “there are many cases of teenage pregnancy which is the cause of the high rate of maternal mortality.
In order to minimize the high maternal deaths, parents should educate their children on family planning methods, Massaquoi admonished.
“Family planning has so many methods which include implant which is to place medicine under the skin for 5 years, injection for 3months, and the pills which require to be taken on a daily basis according to time,” she said.
In the past families did not know how to plan a family which caused them to have so many children but the FP method has made men to learn about the planning method.
She disclosed that many underage children are involved in sex which could be a setback for the country because reproductive health issues would be high.
“We need to put ourselves together to take good care of our children by providing the necessary education they need and we should do this in close consultation with the family,” she said
Mr. Robert Brown, Project Manager of National Empowerment Program forWomen andGirls told the participants that sexual reproductive issues must be highlighted in the country because more women are losing their lives in child birth and teenage pregnancy is one of the contributing factors.
“Women are still dying from SRH and we need to remind the government to enforce measures and increase health facilities for women in order to reduce maternal mortality.
He urged women to work closely with their husbands in taking decisions to plan their family so that there will be better understanding.
Madam Leona Fatoma, on behalf of the women of Banjor Community promised to take the message through community engagement as a strategy to reduce teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality.
“We will have interactive community engagements so that women can know how to born their children by taking the family treatment and even the men to join the process and help women and girls,” she said.
The outreach program which brought together over 75 women and girls was highly interactive and the participants showed appreciation for the forum.
Peace Island Community Chairman, Mr. Mohammed Williams added his voice, stressing that teenage pregnancy is on the rampage and needs quick intervention by the government, health workers, community leaders and especially parents to minimize the risk.
He encouraged the family planning method which he described as very important for both sexes and used the medium to encourage women to practice what they learned from the outreach.
He thanked NEP for such an important initiative, especially in the area of empowerment through educating women and girls in different ways to make an impact in their communities.