Freetown City Council (FCC) in Collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affairs has held a workshop on Community sensitization at Ward 377 on early marriage and teenage pregnancy, at the Brima Eleganza community Hall in Freetown.
Speaking at the workshop, the chief facilitator form the social service at the Freetown City Council, Mr. Amara Bahun said that the rate of early marriage and teenage pregnancy was alarming and that that is why the ministry and the Freetown City Council has decided to embark on such campaign in order to raise awareness of community people.
Bahun furthered that the government is ready to support the girl child education, adding that parents should not allow their girl child to go astray but should make sure they send them to school.
He noted that the world is having a global picture on how they look at teenage pregnancy, he revealed that 26% of girls become impregnated before the age of 18 to 19 years and 40%of them die during maternity because they are not matured to give birth. Early marriage and teenage pregnancy, he said, is the common factor responsible for high of girl child school dropouts.
He also highlighted some of the way in which early marriage and teenage pregnancy can be eradicated which, he said includes public sensitization, law enforcement at community levels, sex education and sensitization on the Child Right Act.
Making a statement on behalf of her ward, Council Madinatu Kamara Chairperson of the Social Service Department of Freetown City Council expressed her sincere gratitude to the Ministry and Freetown City Council for looking into such issues and took immediate action. She said early marriage and teenage pregnancy lead to so many dropouts of girls across the country. “It is a very good initiative to sensitize the various communities on early marriage and teenage pregnancy, “she said.
Mohamed Koroma, a participant said that the campaign was a timely one, adding that he has been in such campaign in the ward, but it was never successful and the rate of teenage pregnancy became high. He noted that if the government and the Freetown City Council are ready to tackle the issue of early marriage and teenage pregnancy, “I believe it will be a successful campaign.” he further said the campaign reached the community at the right time when there are many young boys and girls in the community and the message will be well spread.