By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, II.
A contraception health group, Marie Stope – Sierra Leone, in partnership with Lucky Development Cooperation has launched “Back-up” a new contraceptive in Liberia. The new enterprise is aimed at reducing unwanted babies by young boys and girls in the country.
The country Director of Marie Stope Sierra Leone Dr. Ufuoma Festus Omo Obi, told gathering at the launch of the new contraceptive pill back-up in Liberia that the initiative is part of the country’s Pro-poor Agenda towards quality health delivery service, saying that it is time for women to have children by choice, not by chance.
Marie Stopes Sierra Leone is a health institution which has been providing health services in 1986, and is one of the oldest programs in the Marie Stopes International partnership. The group has a long and proud history in the country and is known locally as “de mammy for welbodi” or “the mother of health”.
Narrating the success story of the group in Sierra Leone, the country Director of Marie Stope Sierra Leone Dr. Ufuoma Festus Omo Obi, the program is only contraceptive program that continued to work through both the decade long civil war and the 2015 Ebola outbreak. He said life expectancy is just 45 and the country has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality.
According to him, Marie Stopes Sierra Leone is the country’s largest family planning organization, with teams working in every one of the country’s 14 districts and providing more than half of all contraception.
Despite all of the progress in the country, just 21% of women aged 15-49 are using a method of modern contraception.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Dr. Obi said the new Back-up is an emergency contraceptive pill levonorgestrel tablet helps to prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex within seventy two hours.
Dr. Obi further said the new tablet is introduced in Liberia by his organization in partnership with Lucky Pharmacy to help the country reduce her high rate of teenage pregnancy, looking at the fact that Liberia is among the countries that has the highest rate of teenage mothers in the sub-region.
The medical doctor continues to say that there is need for sex education in the country, noting that such development in the country is timely.
The Marie Stopes boss described Sierra Leone, Liberia relation as one people sharing common culture and tradition, adding that partnering with Lucky Pharmacy to introduce back-up in Liberia is a dream comes true of what he has long time hope for in Liberia.
He told Liberians that very soon Marie Stopes will start operation in the country in way of improving the reproductive health care system for Liberians. He furthered that the new contraceptive has no bad effect compare to others, saying that the back-up pill is presently the best answer to protect unwanted pregnancy for school going girls in the country.
He called on the government and other health partners to join hands together and save the future generation of Liberian girls form abortion and other birth complications women face.