Freetown, Dec. 15, 2015 (MOHS) – The Ministry of Health and Sanitation Multi- sectoral Coordinating Committee (MCC) for the reduction of teenage pregnancy has held its quarterly meeting in the conference hall of the ministry at Youyi building in Freetown.
Key among the role of the MCC is to provide policy guidance and direction in the implementation of the teenage pregnancy strategy through effective inter-sectoral and inter-ministerial communication and information sharing across the country.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation and Chair of the MCC, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah noted the long delay in convening the meeting due to the Ebola Virus disease outbreak in the country.
He disclosed that from information gathered during his visits to the hospitals and antenatal clinics, teenage pregnancy has been in the increase, adding that he is optimistic that with the end of the Ebola outbreak and the collaboration with partners they would be able to make the difference towards the reduction of teenage pregnancy and maternal and child mortality in the country.
The ministry’s five year Recovery Plan he said, would be implementing in phases with the first phase 6-9 months Early Recovery Plan focusing on restoring all essential health services.
The Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and Co-Chair, Alhaji Moijue Kaikai appealed to stakeholders to show more commitment in dealing with the issue of teenage pregnancy by working in close collaboration with the government for the purpose of transparency and accountability.
Giving an update from the National Secretariat, the Acting Programme Manager, School and Adolescent Health and National Coordinator for the Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy, Sister Rugiatu Kanu gave an update on key activities implemented from January to November 2015, and shared the activity action plans for the fourth quarter of 2015, and advocated for collective efforts in the implementation of the strategy.
She reminded the audience that the Strategy by the end of 2015 intends to reduce the adolescent fertility rate from 122/1000 to 110/1000. The number of girls who had a birth before age 19, she maintained, estimated to have reduced from 34 percent to 30 percent.
Other highlight of the meeting includes the acquisition of State Lands for the construction of Adolescent Friendly Centres in the Western area and Bombali district.