Marie Stopes local slogan is ‘de mammy fo wel bodi’
The Centre Manager from the Bo Clinic, Mary Sheku, came to give a brief talk to our Junior Secondary School.
When the pupils were asked for a definition of Family Planning, the response was – ‘Mammy & Daddy business’. The talk was conducted in Krio, presenting a relaxed environment, encouraging the class to speak. I was somewhat amused that the description of falling pregnant was ‘get belly’!
Mary outlined the various preventions available whilst stressing the STI’s such as syphilis etc, which complicate births, leading to many maternal deaths. I think condoms can be freely obtained, but other methods must be paid for. The easiest and perhaps the cheapest appeared to be the implant which is good for four to five years.
The health problems associated with pregnancy at an early age for which there is no remedial health service, such as displaced hips, haemorrhaging and early death through botched attempts at abortion were also highlighted.
She advised us to contact the Regional Manager, Mohammed Kabba, who could arrange for his ‘Outreach’ team to visit the school more regularly to include relationship as well as the biological background and informed decision making process.
We contacted him, he was most helpful and indicated he would discuss a programme with his team and liaise with the Head Teacher, Mr Joe Williams.
The pupils asked many questions and seemed keen to embrace the information. We are very keen they have all the knowledge so they can make informed choices and protect themselves from unwanted teenage pregnancy and life threatening STD’s.
We would like all our girls to complete their education through to the end of Senior Secondary, 18 years+, ‘Learning for Life’ is all part of an all round education.