From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
FHI Launches Zarin Contraceptive in Sierra Leone
By Mohamed Kanu
Oct 8, 2010, 11:12

One of the largest and most established non profit making organizations known as Family Health International (FHI) with very active participation in international public health and development towards improving lives, knowledge and understanding of people, in collaboration with Pharm Access Africa Limited (PAAL), distribution partners alongside line ministries and other stakeholders like UNFPA, the Pharmacy Board and Marie Stopes International-Sierra Leone on Thursday 7th October, 2010 launched a new low cost and high effective contraceptive sino-implant II called Zarin at the British Council Hall in Freetown. The theme of the launching ceremony was: "Recognize the Demand and Facilitate Increased Access to Contraceptive Implants."

The rational behind the launching of the Zarin contraceptive implant is the concerted recognition of the increasing demand of contraceptives, and to facilitate increased access to contraceptive implants in the country among others aimed at improving the quality of reproductive health services through safe, effective and affordable family planning methods

MSSL County Director Sebastien Barraud Speaking at the ceremony

In his presentation, the Research Associate of Family Health International (FHI) Dr. David Asaute assured that Zarin contraceptive is an authentic product coming from Shanghai Dahua Pharmaceutical in China with product registration in Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Ethiopia and now in here in Sierra Leone meeting international standards. He disclosed that over seven million Zarin implants have been distributed world wide, and that over 15,000 (fifteen thousand) women are presently using the contraception. This Zarin application he went on, has especially in Kenya avoided unplanned pregnancy for over 1.8 million women. He said if accepted and appreciated in Sierra Leone Zarin would immensely help in promoting our economic growth and national development.

Giving his keynote address, the Director of Reproductive Health and Sanitation in the Health Ministry, Dr. SAS Kargbo confirmed that the low use of contraceptives by families has negative effects on women. He saiod it also negatively impacts on His Excellency President Ernest Koromaís aim in achieving free health care services. He in that regard called on women and men who seem to have negative perception towards the use of contraceptives to use this opportunity to plan their families. According to him a slow population growth is the back bone of the development of any country, adding that family savings can also be increased with a decrease in the amount of children per family.

Dr Sarian Kamara Reproductive Health Manager MoHS Stakeholders at the Launching Ceremony

He underscored the importance of contraceptive use as he said it has been proved through demographic studies that it is only when a government is responding to the needs of women that there would be a swift economic growth, adding that through the free health care initiative, government is immensely helping to reduce the maternal and child mortality rates in the country. "It would be fitting if women can urge for the use of contraceptives, especially the new Zarin product which is said to act for five years. Mr. Kargbo used the forum as an opportunity to call on stakeholders, community leaders and the private sector to put all hands on deck in achieving their dreams as according to him the launching of that product marks a step in their long awaiting journey. He finally thanked Marie Stopes and other partners for taking such a venture.

The Country Director of Marie Stopes International, Sebastian Barraud said study conducted by Marie Stopes proved that 30% of all women who had already got two children are now looking for prevention, while also assuring that in the next two years, with the familiarization of the Zarin implant the rate of maternal and mortality deaths will greatly reduce. He also assured that the use of contraceptives plays great role in the promotion of girl child education. He ended by thanking the UNFPA and the Sierra Leone Pharmacy Board for linking them with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation through Marie Stopes for the registration of the product in the country to enable them actively contribute to the Presidentís Agenda for Change.

Stakeholders at the Launching Ceremony

Dr. David Asante Research Associate FHI pose during presentation

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