UNFPA team meet with Northerners
As part of their stakeholder planning meetings to discuss how to take forward their rural community empowerment within the programme of the United Nations, an 18–man joint mission of the UNFPA Rural Community team held a one day consultative meeting with stakeholders who comprised of workers of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Primary Health Care unit, civil society organizations, the press and other line ministries.
The meeting which was held in Makeni was to discuss UNFPA new strategy plan.
The team was led by the Program Manager of Gender and Advocacy, Isatu Kajue, who explained the purpose of the meeting, noting that the programme was at the pilot phase of implementing program 18 of the UN mission.
She added that they have selected areas for the implementation of the project among which is the Northern region which is expected to kick off between August and December of this year.
The program manager, Isatu Kajue informed her audience that they have decided to engage stakeholders to effect the actualization of the implementation of the programme which, according to her, has key areas like such as the training of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) to enhance them on their roles in preventing gender based violence, HIV, maternal mortality complications, etc.
As a positive outcome, this pilot phase of the UNFPA programme 18 will lead to better planning for continuity and scaling or inclusion of other areas in the project.
Madam Isatu Kajue said the project will enhance the role of TBAs and community elders in monitoring, mobilizing and sensitizing their various communities in providing support to GBV survivals, general support in the area of health talk for pregnant women, etc.
After the training, an advocacy and sensitization group will be formed by the TBAs with support from Social Welfare Council, legal practitioners, and traditional leaders, etc.
She noted that as a pilot phase the program require the active involvement of men in promoting legal rights at community level especially when dealing with GBV prevention, sexual reproductive rights and prevention of new HIV infections and support to victims and survivals.
The Chairman, Bombali District Human Rights Committee, Abass J. Kamara revealed that TBAs have become very frustrated after providing services with no payment at the end of the day.
Representative from the Primary Health Care unit noted that government up till date refused to pay redundant TBAs.
He further disclosed that there are 98 Primary Health Units in the country and the TBAs are only there to help the nurses.
The Executive Director of Society for Democratic Initiative, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, informed stakeholders present that he will train TBAs on basic legal issues, writing legal notes, the importance of laws, etc. and assured them of his organization’s total support in providing legal aide to community people free of charge.
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