The Government of Burkina Faso is sending a Working Mission to Jamaica from June 24 to 29, led by the First Lady of that country, Her Excellency Chantal Compaoré.
The purpose of the mission is to learn about Jamaica’s experience in preventing adolescent pregnancies and supporting adolescent mothers.
She will be accompanied by Minister of Women Promotion and Gender, Nestorine Sangare and Head of Capacity Building, Ministry of Women Promotion and Gender, Koudraogo Kabore.
On arrival, Mrs. Compaoré will be met by officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is spearheading the initiative. In the afternoon a briefing will be held with UNFPA officials at 52 Knutsford Boulevard, in New Kingston.
On Tuesday, June 25, the First Lady will call on Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Mrs. Compaoré will also participate in a study/ tour of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation. In the afternoon, she will meet with officials from the Ministry of Health.
On Wednesday, June 26, the First Lady will visit the Haile Selassie High School. In the afternoon she will be involved in a small working lunch meeting with key gender leaders and University of the West Indies academia and will also meet with officials from the Ministry of Education.
Later in the evening, Mrs. Compaoré will attend a cocktail reception hosted by the UNFPA, at Devon House.
While here, the First Lady will call on Their Excellencies, Governor General, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen, and Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.
They will also visit the Bob Marley Museum, the National Gallery, Dolphin Cove and Dunn’s River Falls.
In terms of context, early pregnancy in schools is a major concern for the persons in charge of the promotion and protection of young people and adolescent rights.
In Burkina Faso, recent studies show that adolescent girls and young women are the first victims of unwanted pregnancies and illegal/unsafe abortions, along with all the risks and consequences they cause.
Jamaica is supported by the UNFPA to protect and promote the rights of adolescents and young people towards responsible sexuality and access to high quality reproduction health services. In this country, teenage pregnancies are also an issue of concern.
Innovative as well as relevant strategies are underway to overcome the problem. The achieved results need to be shared with countries that are experiencing the same situation.
That is why the UNFPA Country Office of Burkina Faso supported the Government to arrange a field visit to Jamaica, to learn more about this experience in order to adopt and replicate it in the Burkina Faso settings. Mrs. Compaoré will depart the island on Saturday, June 29.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter