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PPASL Holds One Day Training For Media Practitioners

By Shadrach Aziz Kamara

In order to promote Adolescents Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and COVID-19 control measures in the country, the Planned Parenthood Association of Sierra Leone (PPASL) has on Friday 4th November 2022, held a one day training for media practitioners within Freetown.

The Training was held at the PPASL Conference Hall in Freetown.

The Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Association of Sierra Leone, Dr. Sarian Kamara said that the training will serve as a platform in order for PPASL and journalists to have frank discussions that is geared towards promoting Adolescents Sexual Reproductive Health Rights through advocacy in the country, adding that, the Adolescent/youth population constitutes a significant segment of the country’s population but are currently challenged with various sexual reproductive issues that are negatively affecting their holistic development in the country.

“As an Association, over the years we have established a strong partnership with the media but we need to be proactive in addressing the appalling health status in the country because the development of the country depends on the welfare and effective contribution of all and sundry to the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone,” she affirmed. He continued that, they cannot succeed in this venture alone but needs effective collaboration with the mass media to perform their roles of informing, educating and entertaining the populace. With such collaboration with the media, he expressed optimism that there will be successful outcome.

She furthered that they believe that a holistic approach to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Family Planning service provision can improve the health status of women and young girls and also reduce SRH problems including teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and mortality rates etc. in the country.

She maintained that the training will allow journalists to use their different media platforms to empower diverse young people with vast, accurate, and age-appropriate information on sexual and reproductive health, adding that, to improve their overall well-being and ensure that policies makers meet to their commitments to the Abuja Declaration and other crucial documents at national and international levels, as health is wealth.

In a power point presentation on Health Status of Sierra Leone, the Youth and Communication Officer at Planned Parenthood Association of Sierra Leone, Samuel Koroma said that the objective of the engagement is to build the capacity of media practitioners to be well-informed in reporting in the media, on pressing issues on SRHR as well as identifies gaps and opportunities in legal and policy reforms in the implementations of SRH&R programs.

“The media does not only contribute to raising awareness on SRHR issues among the general public, but also plays a critical role in reaching decision-makers,” he said, adding that, the engagement will enable the journalists to produce important messages that will increase the level of awareness of SRHR among the public and educate them on pertinent issues and help creates dialogues in the public.

He disclosed that the 2019 Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey Teenage Pregnancy between 15-19 years was 21% percent and that 1.7 % percent HIV prevalence for women and men 15-49 years.

The Youth and Communication Officer concluded by encouraging journalists to see Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights as very important issues that need effective collaboration with the media.

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