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Caribbean News: Jamaicans Urged to Practice Family Planning Black Habits Articles Minister of Health, John Junor, is urging Jamaicans to practice family planning to reduce poverty, child and maternal mortality and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The Minister was speaking at the re-launch of the Lenworth Jacobs Clinic, which is celebrating 44 years of service to the downtown Kingston community, at a special ceremony held recently on the clinic grounds on East Street.

He pointed out that the re-launch of the facility was an appropriate move as FAMPLAN Jamaica, continued to improve and expand the family planning services offered by the clinic.

By working closely with the Kingston and St. Andrew Health Department, FAMPLAN, through the Lenworth Jacobs Clinic, has been able to provide various reproductive health services for the more than 41,000 residents in the Central Kingston area.

Services offered at the facility extend the gamut of reproductive healthcare from pre and postnatal care to baby clinic, clinical and non-clinical contraceptive methods to counseling.

The Health Minister noted, that while the Lenworth Jacobs Clinic was serving a great need, especially in providing antenatal and child healthcare, more persons needed to make use of the services offered.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health's Monthly Clinic Statistical Report (MCSR) indicate that a total of 992 persons visited the clinic for antenatal care in 2005, which represented a slight increase over the 888 figure of the previous year. In addition, approximately 1,719 children were attended to in 2005 against 2,194 the previous year.

The Health Minister said the relationship between FAMPLAN and the Ministry of Health represented the kind of public/private partnership necessary for good health outcomes.

"Studies have outlined that in developing countries, success in family planning programmes occur when the responsibilities are shared among governments and non-government organizations and that is the kind of partnership we intend to maintain," he stated.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister expressed pleasure that "the expansion in services here at the clinic has taken males into consideration".

He noted that while most family planning programmes focused on women and girls, it was increasingly important that the health and social consequences of early sexual intercourse for boys be addressed.

"Young men have been let off the hook when society and parents do not hold them accountable for sexual activity. At the same time, they have also been left in the dark because their own reproductive health needs are ignored," he said.

Mr. Junor further pointed to the need for further investigation into young men's reproductive health issues as well as their perceptions of masculinity, responsibility and gender roles.

Posted on Friday, March 17 @ 00:00:00 MST by jcohen

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