An International Non-governmental Organization, Ipas, on Monday 23rd June 2014, commenced a two day workshop for over 35 Members of the Press Gallery at Parliament in Freetown. The organization which seeks to promote women’s sexual reproductive health and rights, delivered the training on ‘understanding and reporting women’s sexual reproductive health and rights for effective as well as accurate reporting’.
The training focused on the magnitude of unsafe abortions in Africa and Sierra Leone; the recent continental and international initiatives to address unsafe abortion, status of abortion law reform in Sierra Leone; abortion in the media in Africa; the role of the media in setting the agenda and why social media matters in journalism.
In his statement, the Director of Public Relations in Parliament Cyril Juxon-Smith said the training will enable journalists to understand and report on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights with better understanding.
Representing the chairperson of the health committee in parliament the clerk of the committee Mohamed Ngevao appreciated the training for the press gallery and noted that IPAS has been working with parliament to enhance the know-how on women’s reproductive health and rights.
Earlier in his welcome address, Elias Bangura commended IPAS for instituting such a workshop for Members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. He noted that the two days training will encourage Press Gallery Members to report effectively on topics that are to be presented by various consultants from Kenya and Mozambique.
In her presentation, one of the Consultants Sylvia Wamugi lectured on several issues including women’s reproductive health, unsafe abortion and the consequences and negative impact on nations worldwide. She said unsafe abortion and other maternal and morbidity rates were causes for concern. She disclosed that in 2010 an estimate of 287,000 maternal deaths were recorded as compared to 543,000 in 1990. She informed that out of 800 women dying of pregnant related conditions during that period, Sub Saharan Africa and Asia contributed recorded 86% of such deaths.
The Country Manager of Ipas Sierra Leone, Madam Valerie Tucker said the Government is now giving priority to women’s issues but it was timely for political will to give credence to safe abortion. She said the law against abortion in Sierra Leone causes people to conduct premeditated and unsafe abortions.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.