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Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, has lauded the National Family Planning Board (NFPB) for the inroads made by the organisation in increasing the use of condoms, and other forms of contraception, among Jamaicans.
The Minister also commended the NFPB for its consistent efforts, over the past 42 years, in offering quality counselling and family planning options and other reproductive and sexual health related support.
His message was delivered by Executive Director of the National Family Planning Board, Dr. Olivia McDonald, at a service on Sunday (October 25), at the Church of The Open Bible, Washington Boulevard, Kingston. The service celebrated the 42nd anniversary of the NFPB and marked the beginning of National Family Planning Week.
Citing the 2002/03 Reproductive Health Survey, Mr. Spencer said that condom use more than doubled from 32.8% in 1989 to 72.7% in 2002.
“That is a remarkable achievement, particularly given the problem of sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV/AIDS, that we are grappling with, locally and globally,” he stated.
Mr. Spencer also commended the NFPB for their success in reducing unplanned pregnancies.
“The proportion of pregnancies that were planned increased from 25.4% in 1989 to 37.5% in 2002, and the proportion of unplanned pregnancies declined from 19.9% in 1989 to 15.9% in 2002,” he informed.
National Family Planning Week is being observed October 25-31 under the theme, “Family Planning. It’s All About Responsible Choices.”
The activities continue on Tuesday (October 27) with a Live Outside Broadcast on Radio Jamaica FM 94 of Dorraine’s Coffee Break, with Dorraine Samuels, from the National Family Planning Board between 9 a.m. and10:00 a.m. It will be hosted by the NFPB’s Marge Roper Counselling Service.
The highly anticipated findings of the 2008 Jamaica Reproductive Health Survey will be disclosed on Wednesday (October 28), at a Dissemination Seminar at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, at 9:30 a.m. The last Reproductive Health Survey was conducted in 2002.
On Thursday (October 29), young adults in Montego Bay St. James will share their views on the controversial topic, “Access to Contraception by Minors”, when they participate in a Marge Roper Rap Session at the Burchell Memorial Baptist Church, 9 a.m. to 12 Noon.
On Friday (October 30), the NFPB’s Outreach team will head to downtown Kingston, for a condom distribution exercise between 10:30 a.m. and 12 Noon. Other activities will include the airing of the NFPB’s Teen Seen on CVM TV on Saturday (October 31) at 4:30 p.m.

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