Dakar, Monday 19th September: Marie Stopes International has launched its newest country programme, Marie Stopes International Senegal, today. The new programme will provide vital services to the Senegalese people, both in the capital Dakar and in the near future to those that live in rural, often underserved, communities.
The programme was officially launched at the new Marie Stopes International Senegal health centre by Ousseynou Ba, of the Ministry of Health, who said “our government is committed to improving maternal health in Senegal; partnerships with NGOs like Marie Stopes International help us to achieve our objectives.”
Maaike van Min, Country Director of Marie Stopes International Senegal added: “We are absolutely delighted to bring the expertise of Marie Stopes International to the people of Senegal. Our friendly and professional team are there to offer high quality, non-judgemental, affordable services which will be available at times convenient for all.”
Providing women with voluntary family planning options
The new health centre in Dakar provides comprehensive family planning options to women that want to plan the number and spacing of their children. They will have the option to choose the method that is best for them from a range which includes short term options such as the contraceptive pill and condoms, and long-term options such as contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices (IUD) that will provide women and couples with years of protection.
This health centre also offers services for pregnant women including vital ante-natal care which can prevent maternal deaths, and STI/HIV tests and general health care for both men and women, young and old.
Outreach teams to reach the underserved
In addition to the health centre, there will be two outreach teams in operation. The first outreach team will be working with the people that live in the slums in Dakar, who often do not go to health centres because they cannot afford to access their services. This team will ensure that the women who live in the slums have the same access to long-acting methods of contraception as everyone else.
The second outreach team will work further afield in rural areas of Senegal, providing long-term family planning options to people who would otherwise have to travel for hours to find a health centre.
In Senegal there are currently 410 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births – 1900 deaths in 2008 alone – caused by child birth or pregnancy related causes, partly due to lack of access to family planning options. The purpose of this new programme is to reduce this number, and to increase the availability of family planning.
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