The UNFPA-The Gambia office in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), SOS Mothers Clinic in Bakoteh, GFPA, NYC, NJOPAD and others over the weekend began a Campaign to Scale of Family Planning Uptake in The Gambia.
Speaking to journalists during the commencement of the campaign in Upper River Region (URR), the National Programme officer responsible for reproduction and HIV/AIDS at UNFPA-The Gambia Office, Alhagie Kolley informed journalists that they were in Basse to talk to people about cervical cancer, screening, voluntary counseling, HIV/AIDS, VCT and other STDs.
The main objectives of the campaign, Kolley outlined are: use a multi-disease approach as an entry point to Family Planning, create greater understanding on family planning services and commodities, generate demand for uptake of family planning services in communities, register new family planning acceptors in Lower River and Upper River Regions, dispel myths on family planning and other diseases.
He said the key interventions of the campaign include the following: film shows, two-day regional football tournaments involving 4 teams per region, forum theatre, house-to-house campaign with youth as foot soldiers and musical jamborees to attract youth, disseminate information on family planning and scale uptake of services by the young people.
"We started this campaign last November in Farafenni and it should continue in the same November, but because of the December 2016 Presidential Elections, we couldn't continue with the campaign. And this time we are here in URR to continue with the campaign and after URR, we will proceed to LRR for the campaign," Kolley informed journalists.
Asked why they incorporate football into the campaign, Kolley informed that the football tourney was incorporated into the campaign as a crowd pulling strategy from the different villages to disseminate messages on Family Planning while cervical cancer screening will also be used to mobilise people and an entry point to accessing FP information and services thus the HIV counseling and testing will also be used.