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Marie Stopes Launches Bluestar Health Care Network in Sierra Leone
By Aruna Turay
Dec 18, 2008, 17:12
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A leading health care provider, concerned mostly with reproductive health care in Sierra Leone, Marie Stopes, on Wednesday 17th December 2008 officially launched the Bluestar Healthcare Network in Sierra Leone. The auspicious launching ceremony was held at the British Council Hall, Tower Hill in Freetown.

Marie Stopes Country Director Mr. Mathew Smith delivering his speech

Delivering statement, Maries Stopes Country Director, Mr. Mathew Smith expressed elation over the initiative for its timeliness as it would boost the appalling reproductive system of the country. He said it was in response to the clarion call made by His Excellency, President Ernest Bai Koroma on the private sector to improve on maternal and child health care delivery system.

Members of the Network posed for the press with Mrs. Sam Sumana

Manager of the Bluestar Social Franchising Project, Manty Tarawallie said the project comprises of a collection of groups from selected clinics and pharmacies dedicated to the provision of modern family planning to the nation. She used the forum as an opportunity to introduce two new contraceptive products for women of child bearing age, namely the emergency contraceptive pill and the zarin implant. She said the emergency contraceptive pill will protect women from unwanted pregnancies by consuming it within 72 hours after having an unprotected sex. The zarin implant, according to her, is inserted into the first layer of a womans upper arm and plastered for five days, and upon removal of the plaster, the woman will be protected from unwanted pregnancy for four years. Madam Tarawallie assured her audience of the safety and reliability of both pills.

Mrs. Manty Tarawallie Manager Blue Star Social Franchising Project talking on the Project

In her keynote address on behalf of the First Lady, wife of the vice president, Mrs. Kadia Sam-Sumana said reproductive health services programme is important not only because of helping to fill a serious healthcare delivery gap in Sierra Leone, but to help the country meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicators in the healthcare delivery sector, especially in the area of maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy prevalence. She said Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma does not only consider this initiative as a milestone in checkmating maternal mortality in the country but for offering the opportunity to the girl-child to progress in some basic undertakings in life without the unwarranted interruption of unwanted pregnancies.

The high table Mrs. Sam Sumana and Mr. Smith

"The Marie Stopes Blue Star Network initiative is very dear to our hearts as women, wives, and mothers for the information and knowledge-based opportunities it will provide our young women," she pointed out, adding that if such innovative Reproductive Health Services fulfill their intended objectives in improving knowledge on how and where to access contraception, increase demand from target group to use contraception, improve quality of the contraceptive services and improve affordability of contraceptive services, then the initiative will surely bring a peace of mind to the women of Sierra Leone. I am therefore very grateful to this reproductive health focused organization," she concluded.

On behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Mrs. Mabel Carew highlighted teenage pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy, unplanned bearing of children and abortion as some of the things the newly launched products will address. She therefore urged the network to strengthen the sensitization of these products.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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