JIS News

The National Family Planning Board (NFPB) will be staging a series of events across the island from October 21-27, to mark National Family Planning Week 2012.

The week, which will be observed under the theme: 'Children by Choice and NOT by Chance,' aims to bring national focus to the importance of sexual and reproductive health matters in national development.

Communications Officer at the NFPB, Raquel Reece, said the theme for the week was chosen in an effort to highlight the power that the individual has in effectively planning for his or her family life, in order to secure a rewarding and beneficial future.

"'Children by Choice and NOT by Chance' is the recognition that in planning the timing, spacing and number, with dual method use, one can also prevent unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), including HIV," Ms. Reece said in an interview with JIS News.    

Family planning, she said, "could prevent as many as one in every three maternal deaths by allowing women to delay motherhood, space births, avoid unintended pregnancies and abortions, and stop childbearing when they have reached their desired family size."

To herald the start of the week, a national service of thanksgiving will be held at the Power of Faith Ministries in Portmore, St. Catherine on Sunday (October 21) at 7:30 a.m.

On Monday (October 22), a College Fair will be held at the HEART Trust/ VTDI Auditorium in Kingston from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., where the winners of the Family Planning Week Essay Competition will be announced.

The highlight of the week is a Sexual and Reproductive Health Fair, which will be held at the Majesty Gardens Covenant Community Centre on Tuesday (October 23) from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Winners of the NFPB's jingle competition will be announced at the event.

The NFPB will be disseminating various messages regarding sexual and reproductive health through the mainstream media via a live broadcast at the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fair, feature placements on CVM TV's Direct and Live at 7, as well as through a broadcast of Teen Seen on Saturday (Oct. 27).

During the week the board will also be encouraging Jamaicans to practice safe sex through the distribution of condoms.