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UNFPA reps brief Vice President Foh

UNFPA reps brief Vice President Foh

Freetown, May 14 (SLENA) – Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to Sierra Leone, Dr. Bannet Ndyannabangi and his Deputy, Mr. Kamara on Wednesday this week called on Vice President, Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh at his Tower Hill Offices in Freetown to brief him on the operations of UNFPA.  (Photo: UNFPA Rep and Deputy call on VP Foh at his Tower Hill office)

In his briefing remarks, Dr. Ndyanabangi congratulated the Vice President on his new appointment and thanked him for launching the revised National Youth Policy that was supported by UNFPA.

Updating the VP on UNFPA’s upcoming events, the UNFPA Rep said they would be coming up with the Demographic Dividend event, an event that is organized by the United Nations General Assembly and that the event will basically looked at countries that have large youth population and strategized ways of investing in them.

These investments, he said, include among others, education, health and those countries will benefit from such investment through the meaningful contributions from the beneficiaries.

Another event they will be undertaken he said would be a special study that will be focusing on the youths of Sierra Leone. This study, he went on, would look into the Asian Tigers approach that helps them to propel to where they are now today.

Speaking on their work in the country, Dr. Ndyanabanji told the Vice President that his organization is giving emphasis to it beneficiaries, that is, women of reproductive age from 15-49 and young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years.

The main motive, he said, was to prevent maternal mortality and mobility among the young and old people, ensuring that mobility rate is reduced drastically as Sierra Leone has been rated as one of the countries in the world with high mortality rate of about 1,165 women dying while giving birth while the teenage pregnancy rate in the country has been rated as 28%. This figure, he said, was extreme and will lead to high drop-out of young people from school.

He said his organization has invested on social health system while a school has been provided to train midwives in Makeni and Freetown. He said they have supported the training of about 20 Anesthetist Nurses. Another area of support by UNFPA, he maiontained, was the Non- Physician Technicians.

Other areas of UNFPA intervention, according to the Rep included the supply of drugs, working on reproductive health issues, and with Statistic Sierra Leone in the planning process of the 2015 December census.

He concluded that during the outbreak of the deadly virus, UNFPA trained five thousand (5000) contact tracers nationwide.

In his remarks, Vice President FOH thanked UNFPA for the remarkable work not only in the country but Africa and the world at large. He said he was of no doubt that the Sierra Leone chapter was enjoying the good work of UNFPA, adding that the organization was indeed a partner in the development of the country.

He commended UNFPA for employing Sierra Leoneans to serve as contact tracers, training of nurses and midwives, engagement of youths, among others, and called on them to work with the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs as they are connected with the work of UNFPA.

He maintained that UNFPA collaboration with Statistics Sierra Leone to conduct the 2015 December is an imperative job in the right direction as the organization is helping the government to succeed.

Vice President Foh said a good census that is properly planned and clearly balanced could help a country to properly plan for it development agenda, noting that elections cannot be held without a proper census as was embedded in the 1991 Constitution which stipulated that, after every 10-15 years, census figures must be revised and that constituencies must be divided and sub-divided.

He noted that the special study that will be undertaken by UNFPA is of great concern to the country as the growth rate of any country served as a catalyst for its development.

He called on UNFPA to continue to work with the government especially in the area of reducing the rate of maternal mortality as the low rate will be an added feather to the cap of any government and country.

Addressing the issue of the outbreak, Ebola, Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh told the UNFPA Representative that Sierra Leone and Guinea have embarked on border policing to stop the spread and the total eradication of the disease.

By Alimatu Fofanah, Credit SLENA

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