Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the European Union (EU), is engaging media practitioners to address the high maternal mortality rate identified in the 2019 Demographic and Health Survey.

The survey highlighted three districts with concerning rates: Western Area Rural, Port Loko, and Kambia. Media personnel from these districts gathered at the MJ Hotel on March 21-22, 2024, for a workshop aimed at mitigating these issues.

The workshop, titled “Values Clarification and Attitude Transformation (VCAT),” focused on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and family planning (FP). The goal is to equip journalists with the knowledge to promote these topics within their communities and combat misconceptions that contribute to high mortality rates and early pregnancies.

Marie Stopes’ Advocacy and External Relations Officer, Sandy Massaquoi, addressed the media, acknowledging societal concerns about the organization. Massaquoi clarified Marie Stopes’ role in providing vital services to women, young people, and adolescents, promoting their health and well-being.

The workshop brought together representatives from newspapers and radio stations covering rural areas in Kambia, Bamoi, and Port Loko, reaching a wider audience across the three target districts.

Mathew Kenneth Weller, a participant, praised the initiative as a collaborative effort “for the benefit of our communities.” He emphasized the training’s potential to reduce teenage pregnancies, school drop-out rates, and maternal mortality.

This partnership between Marie Stopes, the EU, and the media demonstrates a commitment to improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes in Sierra Leone, particularly in areas with the highest risks.