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The Senegalese family planning campaign, Family Planning–a Priority for the Reduction of Maternal and Infant Mortality, launched in Dakar on July 8. Led by the Ministry of Health’s Division of Reproductive Health and organized by IntraHealth International, this family planning repositioning campaign is designed to reduce maternal and infant mortality through appropriate spacing and numbers of births.
Pape Gaye, President and CEO of IntraHealth, delivered the RAPID ( Resources for Awareness of Population Impacts on Development) presentation on behalf of USAID/Senegal. The computer model developed by the Futures Group International describes the social and economic benefits of family planning. For example it showed that by increasing the Senegalese contraceptive rate to 60% by 2032, Senegal would need one million fewer jobs, and 25,000 maternal and 1.2 million children’s lives would be saved.
US Ambassador Marcia S. Bernicat and Minister of Family Ndeye Khady Diop (a former family planning relais, or community health worker) also spoke. Professor Cheikh Tidiane Cisse, of the University of Dakar’s Obstetrics and Gynecology department, Parliamentarian Aminata Diallo and religious leaders gave testimonials on family planning. The launch also featured a short film on family planning and songs performed by popular Senegalese artists.
Over 500 people attended the launch including, the Minister of Health, Coumba Therese Diop; the Ministers of Youth and Public Works, Mamadou Lamine Keita and Habib Sy; Mr. Kevin Mullally USAID Director , the General Secretary of the Islam and Population Network, El Hadj Ousmane Samb; several senators and representatives of civil society organizations.
IntraHealth supports Senegal’s family planning work through the USAID-supported Senegal Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health/Family Planning/Malaria (MNCH/FP/Malaria) Project. Launched in 2006, this project aims to reduce maternal and child mortality through improving the availability, variety, use, and acceptance of family planning.