The Increasing Use of Contraceptives by School Girls is Worrisome

The Increasing use of contraceptives by teenage school girls is becoming a serious concern for many child activists organizations in the country.The decision of when schools going girls should take contraceptives has become a major issue and the problem has been exacerbated by the proliferation of various contraceptives in many circles by family planning organizations.
Even though they have maintained age limits for the use of contraceptives in family planning, these age limits have not been adhered to by teenage girls.The long term implications of contraceptives use for girls is an emerging issue in the business of family planning and health care in Sierra Leone.
The Chief Executive Officer and founder for a Local Child Rights Group in the Northern part of the country, Girl Child Network Sierra Leone has maintained that,the intake of contraceptives by girls across schools in Sierra Leone before eighteen (18) years has negative consequences for the girl child sexual life.
What is the fate of the girl child who is increasingly exposed to various messages by respective groups on Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services?
Some groups promoting Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services are of the view that the use of contraceptives is good to ensure that girls do not deliver unwanted babies.They should deliver according to them only when they are mature and plan for these babies.
Others rights groups have a contrary view to the above and believes that, the use of these contraceptives have negative consequences for the girls and could even be a potential causative factor for cancer.
The huge accessibility of kids especially school going girls to contraceptives has been more of a problem driving them into sex rather than addressing the issue of unwanted pregnancies.Many Girls have had access to these contraceptives and other family planning packages without even consulting their parents.
Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, the main organization in Sierra Leone which provides family planning and reproductive health services for girls are organizing yearly back to school promotions every year for schools girls above 18 years.
The one month program provides family planning and reproductive health services for school girls in clinics and other outreach centers across Sierra Leone.
The campaign has over the years been able to provide for thousand of girls family planning and reproductive health services free of costs.
Whether or not the right categories of school girls are enjoying these services in tandem with the policies of Marie Stopes Sierra Leone is another issue all together.
The Company has not been asking for Birth Certificates to certify the age of school girls who should benefit from teh services and the tendency for these services to fall in the wrong hands cannot be overruled. But what is sacrosanct is that, Marie Stopes has got a policy on the administration of these services to girls.
Girl Child Network Sierra Leone with support from UNICEF and Orange Sierra Leone are working towards managing the menstrual hygiene cycles of girls in schools.The approach for them is the way out for girls rather than them taking contraceptives.
They have cautioned girls not to undertake sex while they are still in school.Girls are orientated of what they should not do while in schools and also entreated to wisely use their menstrual calendar whenever they started seeing their menses.
The action by these organizations many says, will also help in averting many disease which girls have the potential to encounter during their menstrual cycles largely as a result of using dirty cloths and other substances during menstruation.
Girl Child Network also maintains that,the advocacy around teenage pregnancy has had a mis-norma for failing to address the menstrual problems young girls are facing.
Many countries in the sub region are now increasingly providing disposable as well as reusable hygiene packs for schools girls who have started their menstrual cycles with short talks on how to use them and the possible implications if they venture into sex before the required time.Opening-up the discussion around menstruation and menstrual hygiene remains a taboo within the home and the school has also helped greatly.

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