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  • Chairman of the NFPB, Dr. Sandra Knight, is encouraging Jamaicans to form meaningful relationships before having children.
  • Dr. Knight expressed concern at the increasing number of children being born to parents who are not in stable relationships.
  • Dr. Knight is also encouraging men to place a moral value on their ability to create life.

Chairman of the National Family Planning Board (NFPB), Dr. Sandra Knight, is encouraging Jamaicans to be more responsible in their sexual behaviour and to form meaningful relationships before having children.

Dr. Knight, who was speaking at a JIS Think Tank Session to promote ‘Safer Sex Week’ which was observed February 10-14, expressed concern at the increasing number of children being born to parents who are not in stable relationships.

She referred to data which shows that if two adults work together economically, in the best interest of the child, then that offspring will be better cared for and less likely to go on social welfare.

“As a female, do not make decisions by yourself to have a child without having a conversation with the man. The decision to have a child should be a conversation between two persons,” she emphasised.

Dr. Knight is also encouraging men to place a moral value on their ability to create life. “This talk about getting a youth, and more youth making you a man, has to stop. In fact, it might prove you to be less of a man because you are not able to afford all these children,” she added.

She also urged women to stop using their children as an economic resource and to allow them to interact with their fathers.

“We are seeing women having children as economic resources and that has to stop. Research shows that some men who want to support their children are not being allowed to see their children if they don’t bring money. That is not the only function of the male. Children need many things from fathers like mentoring, time and attention. They need role models, they need both parents,” Dr. Knight warned.

She noted that while some of the family planning data is encouraging, there is more work to be done regarding sexual health practices. She further informed that although there has been an increase in the use of condoms, more persons have admitted to stop using them after knowing their partners for a short time.

“We are advocating safer and more responsible sexual interactions. The Family Planning Board has no intentions of legislating the right to sexual freedom, but we have an obligation to share, based on data, our concerns regarding the reproductive health of our society,” Dr. Knight said.

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