By Amin Kef Sesay
In a latest statistical data produced by Marie Stopes Sierra Leone it was stated that 450,000 sexual and reproductive health services were provided to people who needed them in 2019.
This revelation was made by the organization’s Country Director, Dr. Ufuoma Omo-Obi. He described 2019 as one that was full of activities and during which time it closely collaborated with the Government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
“We see the sexual and reproductive health services we provided as important because it includes the provision of sexually transmitted infections prevention services. This is critical for the prevention and spread of STIs in Sierra Leone,” he noted.
He added how those infections could lead to lots of injuries, deaths and public health problems like challenges in child birth and infertility issues.
Highlighting the successes recorded for 2019, Dr. Omo-Obi disclosed that about 180 Government public sector providers were trained to deliver family planning and post-abortion care services and also extensively engaged the National Teenage Pregnancy Secretariat and Paramount Chiefs on sexually and reproductive health issues.
“We treated over 39,000 women for safe abortion and also provided post-abortion care in 2019 as against 35,000 in 2018. We also delivered over half a million short and long term methods of contraception and delivered over two million condoms for safer sex activities, child protection, HIV/AIDS and STIs,” the Marie Stopes Country Director revealed.
He highlighted that even though there was recognition from the public sector that their services are free, but a challenge still remains about who should access them, especially contraceptives for women and girls.
Dr Omo-Obi emphasised that every activity undertaken or services offered have the full backing of the Government through the Health Ministry.
While boasting that they have done better to offer the rights services to the right set of people, the Country Director spoke about the lots of misconceptions they are grappling with as most times people don’t understand their services, and those eligible to access them.
“We are deeply focused on service delivery and pushing boundaries and our teams are out their five days a week delivering services. Our service provision is backed by rigorous counselling. We have now broadened the scope of our services as we have doctors working for us and we have brought in the latest ultra-sound scan device to provide screening services,” he added.
Dr. Omo-Obi recognised the fact that they have to do more to improve service delivery but said they are moving towards becoming a public health organization that looks at the whole family not only women and girls.
He added that 2020 will be used by Marie Stopes to build on the many successes recorded in 2019 and consolidated them for effective and efficient service delivery.