Representatives from the South Sudanese Ministry of Health, the County Health Department, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs), national media, and the local community, joined us for the launch event.
Speaking at the event, Lily Ohya, from the County Health Department, highlighted the importance of family planning as a component of reproductive health and a human right, despite the challenges around delivering services in South Sudan.
Our Programme Director, Jessica Waite, emphasized the role of family planning and contraception in facilitating healthy child spacing, while still enabling families to have as many children as they want.
The day’s speeches were interspersed with traditional dancing and community drama. Local actors and actresses illustrated the negative impacts of poor child spacing on family life – not enough food; inadequate supervision and care for children; overwhelming physical and mental strain on parents, especially women - and the potential of family planning to improve family health.
Minister of Health, Dr Margaret Ito, closed the launch event by expressing her willingness to work with us to further the sexual and reproductive health of women and men in the state.
Our team members were honoured to host so many esteemed guests for the launch event. But the crowning moment of the day was not part of the scheduled program, and it occurred after the guests had gone home when several women entered the Torit centre requesting family planning services.
The centre staff worked past closing time to accommodate them, providing a total of ten women with intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants (eight implants and two IUDs).