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Family planning & reproductive health awareness month
Ministry of Health
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Nassau, Bahamas
The Nassau Guardian
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8 p. : ill. ; 33 cm
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Family life planning -- Bahamas
Sex instruction -- Bahamas


Special supplement in the Nassau Guardian for the Ministry of Health's Family Planning and Reproductive Health Awareness Month.
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Ministry of Health

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University of The Bahamas
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University of The Bahamas
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MINISTRY OF HEALTH'S Family Planning & Reproductive Health Awareness Month Theme: "Family Planning I s Everybody's '

Page 2 BY B ALDWIN W. CAREY, MB, C H. 8 ., M P,FACOG CONSUI.TANT ADV I SOR TO TH NATIONA l FAMII.Y P ROG RAMME Globally there are approximately 135.000 deaths daily. When we subtract the number of deaths from the number of births 260;000 more people are added to our already overpopulated planet. Family Planning is a global is sue. it relates to the number of people we now have. compared to the number of people we should have in the future that would atlow the continuing viability of the human r.1ce. Our problem is compounded in that peo pie are now living longer. With the use of M elatonin, it is expected that our life span will be extended to 120 years. Although the number of children is less the number of women of childbearing age has in creased. In 1he past shorter life s pan s and high The G lobal Implicati o n of Family P lanning infanl mortality rates. combined to provide very effective checks and balances. Around tl1e time of Christ. the world's population was.l70 million. II took four leen ( 14) centuries to double thi. s figure to 350 million, and another 400 years to reach one billion. This latter was accomplished around the year 1810. By the year two thousand, we will be approaching six (6) billion. This then means that in 200 Ytpls tn establis h a National Family Planning Progmmme hav e been m a d e from as earl y as the 1970's For various reasons, the planning pro<.-ess diu not cominue. Howevercon tmceptivc Sl!rviccs in the counl ry were available, both in the private and public secto r In the pub lie sector. access was mainly through 1he govem mcm clinics ami to some extent. the geneml hospital. These necessary ant.l beneficial commce p tive services were offered in th e absence of a Family Planning Policy. centered around suslaioab le ervices alone were nut enoug h The provision of a comp rehens ive service Family lif e. reproductive hcuhh und purenting s kills became an impemtive and required governance by pub lic policy. The mandat e to formulate u Fami l y Plunning Policy was given by Cabinel in May, 1995 The mandate was issued subseq uent 10 th e Caribbean Plan of Aclion meeting. which wus u sub-region al follow up meeting to the Int ernational Confere n ce on Populalion Development ( ICPD ) held in Carin Egypt in September. I ')94 and hosted by The Bahama' Government CAKKYINf: OUT MANilATE Following t he appointment of a Coordi nator. anu tht: cunvening uf preplanning a Technical Advisory Cn mmin ee was formeu to uudrc>S the developmem of a Nationa l Policy on Fumily Planning 'md a National Programme fOr the implementation of >uch a Policy The decision was taken to introuuce a Pilol Family Plunning Pwj ect which included other pertinent aspec t s or Reprot.luctive Health. in tan dem with the dnofting of a Policy document and Prognommc Plan o f Action. ogramme The Pilot Proj ec l of I 8 momh s dumtion, encom passed the training of care providers from and Non-Government Orguni?.ations. These providers would be called upoo t o work. not only a.' resource persons for th e Pilot Proje c t but also would ensure the nec essary human reso urces required 10 "carry'' the Na1ional Pro grdlll me To date, II 0 persons, including nurses. doctors, social workers. school welfare otlicers. famil y life edu cat i o n teachels. guitlance coun selo rs, reception clerks and vol un teers. have been trained Fami l y Planning c lini cs were eswblished in five (5) pilot s it es within existing government c lini cs. Two c lini cs were commenced in New Pro v iden ce. at the Elizaheth E."ates C lini c and Flamingo Gardens Clinic: one in Eight Mil e R ock. Gr.tnd Bahama; one in Cooper' s Town. Abaco. and o n e in Governor's Harbour. Eleuthem. The cli nic s all operaled o n ce weeki}' even ing sessions to facilitate access for working clients. The utilization of the services indicated the need The Pilot Project attracted some 1000 clients, although most of the publicity of services was. intentionally, by word of month. The draft Family Plann i ng Policy anti the drafl Progmmme are now ready and will be brought forward to other Government Agencies. Non Government Organizations. Service Clubs. Chu r c h groups and youths, for discussion, amendmenL' and accep1unce al a Muhi-tli,;cipli nary Porum on April, I?. The tremendous support of Senior Officers within the Ministry of Health and The Rand M emoria l Ho sp ital. heahh profes.,ionals. The Bahama s Family Plannin g Association. Department of Social Services and other imer ested professiona l groupings. including our Country PAHO Rcpr e.,entmive ;ond especially all of our c lient s, made possible die favornble out come of our effons We owe a debt of much grmi tude 1 0 members of The Technical Advisory Team: Drs. Vemcll Carey. R obin Rob erts. Patricia Foote Lalitha-SundurJm. Sonja Lunn. Angela Johnson: M esdames : Mary Johnson. Burbam Curtis, Christine Ca mpbell Zorene Curry. Hannah Gray. Monique Jones. Kath l een John son. Miriam Rolle. Tanya Seymour. Pandora Mckinney-Smith and C he ryl Thomp son. Our Tmining Workshops could n ever ha ve been realized withou t the commi lmem and work of foocilitmor.. here on New Providence and on Grand Bahama: Drs. Baldwin Carey. Robin Robert s. Mildred Hall Watson Perry Gomez. Austin Davis, Patri cia Forte, Herbert Orlander, Lalitha Sunduram. Sandra DeanPanerson. Locksley Munroe, Homer Bloomfield. Andree Hanna Eveneth McPhee. Alfred Bmithwaite, Paul Ward, Jwn Turnquest, M. Parkinson, E Caing l et. R Corral: Anomeys Diunne S1ewan and Constance McDonald : Mesdames : Tanya Seymour. Mavis Ward. Angela Hepburn Marlene O'Brien. Lorraine Duvalier Mar ilyn Major. SandrJ Roll e, Rosama e Bain. Vivian Braithwaite. Sandra Neville. Ann Rolle. Marjorie Munroe, Christine Campbell, Moniqu e Jones. BarbarJ Cu nis Jan-Murie Thompson. Cheryl Thompson. Patricia J ohnson. Kathleen John son. Elizabeth Gmnt, Yanda Capron. Mes srs. H O'Brien and Mr Vincente Roberts. I take 1his opportunity. o n behalf of th e Family Planning Secretar i at to say 'thank yo u and 1 0 p ledge 10 our clients and our potential clienls. excelle nce in service. W e invite all imeresleO.persons to hold hands with us. volunteer your services 1 0 the va rious aspects of the programme and 1ogether wi1h us und the Depunment of Public Heahh. let us demonsu .ne what we bel ieve: "Family Planning indeed is crucial to a c ountry's national develop ment: "Family Planning Is Everybodis Business" B Y MILDRED M. HAL LWATSON, M D THE fEMALE PERSPECTIVE counselling in the family arena is to encour age empower and As we approach the Twenty-First Century and we look at the burgeoning world population, it is imperative that each of us individu ally and collective ly, do what we can to estab lish a Family Planning Policy and Program. T his can be done with the non governmental orga n izations (NGO's) or under the direction and control of Government. H o w ever, it is importan t refer women, when nec essary, so that we help them not to fall into this economic trap. It is thus the responsi b.i lity of their entire "village" the church, school, civic and social o rganizations to sup p ort gov-ernment pro that we f!fst comp l etely u n ders t and w h at Family Planning i s, before we support a program. and in this endeavo r Sexua l abuse is anoth-er area in which u nintended Santayana calls a family .... one of nature's masterpiece." If we can accept this d i ctum then we know that families should be planned and ordered, as all masterpieces are, and not happen haphazardly or without thought. Family planning allows individuals and couples to make informed deci sions of when and how to have chi! dren. It is always the nuclear family of two parents and children living together that is looked at as family out is today's world families come in many forms and so it becomes necessary to educate and counsel dif ferent groups of people. Tue major role of a family planning organiza tion is not only one of dispensing contraceptive methods, but of educa tion and counseling. Unfortunately, the brunt of the bur den for family planning is placed on the shoulder of the female, whether she is in a stable relationship or not. It is therefore imperative that she is guided from her early years in refer ence to her reproductive health and her sexuality. The bringing of a child into a fami ly should be done in such a way that the child can be guaranteed love, car ing and support that will allow them to realize their full potential. A cou ple should together make a decision as to the number of children they want and the spacing of those chi l dren. H owever, the woman's desire to carry these pregnancies and her physical capability to do so are -very important issues. She and her partner should have complete access to fam ily planning services. Economics also become a major issue in decision making regarding pregnancy A couple or individual should be economically self suffi cient to support and care for the child. Pregnancy s h ould not be used as a weapon to receive economic support, nor should a partner with hold economic support in a relation ship to force a woman to have an unintended pregnancy. One of the major benefits of education and pregnancies occur. In many i n stances, these pregnancies occur in the unmarr ied woman and the teenager. T hese females also tend to be one's without high school educa tion and live at low socio-economic level. Again it is one of the respon sibilities of Family Planning agen cies, to counsel teenagers about their self worth and their need to stay in school thus helping to avoid. at least in part, this pit fall in life. Once an unintended pregnancy occurs, vigorous counseling s hould be done to encourage positive atti t u des toward the pregnancy. Sometimes tllis is very difficult in a relationship that is abusive, because the pregnancy in and of itself facili tates the abuse, as it is used as a modality of control. One young woman stated that male partners push to have the baby because that makes you, the female, dependent on them. Once we have counselled the couple and/or the female about planning pregnancies then a method of con traception must be decided on. Uti l ization of morals, values and ethics, should be part of the deci sion-making process, not necessarily to indoctrinate, but to give the indi vidual information on as wide a range of views as possible, in order to help in the decision-making proces s. Thus we see that family p l anning i s not on l y using a birth con t rol method, but is a process in which we all need to have an interest, that is Government, the private sector, the churches, the schools, civic organi zations and iodiv i dyal citizens. H i l ary Rodham Clin!on, in her book, "It takes a Village," states that "children will thrive on l y if their families thrive and if .the whole of society cares enough to provide for them." Therefore in our country, if these tittle people are tru l y the "dar l ings of the nation ," then, let us all work together t o make tbem the best that they can be through proper plan ning.


... Pagt> 3 THE BAHAMAS FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION'S BOARD O F DIRECTORS -The Baha mas F amily Planning Association is a n o ng o vernme n tal organization w hich w a s started in 1 985, b y a s m all group of v i sionaries. It was, until recently, the only organization w i t h a formal f amily planning p r o g r amme t h erefore subsidized all family planning ser v ices in The B a hamas. Our efforts have been prima rily i n New Provid ence, but we h ave mad e some inroa d s in Freeport. Our g o a l i s to even tually reach out and touc h all m ajor isl ands. These efforts will now b e g reatly enha n ced as we work in the N ationa l Family Planning initiative. The present Board of Directors are picture d ; Back row: Ms. Coralie McMillia n Ms. J eonie H all-Campbell, sec r etary; Dr. Stunce Williams; M s. Miche l e Thom p son, treasure r ; Dr. Charlene Wallace Ferg u son; Sis Williama e Smith and Dr. Robin Roberts, past preside nt. Front row: Ms. Christine Campbell, executive director, Dr. Mildred HallW a t son, president; Ms. Zorene Curry, vice-president; Missing from photo: Mr. Raynard Rig b y. Men In Family Planning and Reproductive Health: To Be Or Not To Be? Response To Training Workshop B Y OL. tVE Rou.ERN RM CBN (WORKSH OP P A R T I CIPAN'f) be achieved through avenues such as annual physical assessments. including the PAP smear. prostate examinations :md mammo gra ms especially for th e women at high ris k for deve l oping breast ca ncer B Y O R. R OB I N ROBERTS, CONSU L TANT UROLOGIST AND IMMEDIATE PAJ>I PRESIDF.NT OF B AHAMAS FAMILY Pt.ANNING ASSOC IATION It is unfortunate that female focused issues dominate the m ed ica l and socio-eco nomic con cerns in matters of Reproductive Health ... after all, males have similar high preva l ence and inciden ce of disorders of the reproductive system and also provide th e other 50% of the family planning equa tion. The for th e negative ma l e balance in reproduc tive health matters are well rec ognized. The first and a most prominent factor is the c ultural "thing" -real m e n d o n t get s i c k and d o n t f ee l pain and ... so real m en d on' t atte nd doctorS and there i.s n o nee d for check u p.s. This has serious health implications which i s emerg ing as a major public issue. Males are pre senting with diseases at advanced stages resulting in h i gher medica l costs and worst disease o utcomes. In reproductive health, this cu l tural phe nomenon even graver implications. In ou r West Indian and predominantly black racia l socie ty, diseases of the reproductive system such as impotence and infertility belitt l e one's "manhood''. Rather than admit t o a problem. most men would not only deny the existence of sexua l dysfunc tion disorder. but boas t further of their (no n existent) virility : this results in them not seeki n g h elp and not cu rin g their cond iti on. This places a sign ifi cant st111in on relati o n ships with their sexual partner. Translated into finite numbers. th e magni tude of the problem is staggeri ng : 50% of diabetics arc rendered impotent from the disease process. and a sign iticant percent 11;\ .T C \IIE IF \\'E S \\EO ,\ltl,E\ \\liE' TilE 'I'\:\ I IIIII\ Ell liEU\ EitEl> lll' lt 1.\ST 11\11\, I W\:\T TillS 0\IE 11011' 1:\ TilE IIIISI'IT\1., IF \Ol C 1\FI : I \ S\\'EETIIE .\ItT TilE:>. \!I l l \1'11.1. P\\ TilE I'IIICE E\ F.' II J II\\ E Lllll.lllll:' II' 1 '11E UOZE'






... -P age 6 The (Expecting) Teen Mother Age: 15 years Having a child has afTected my life in many ways. First of all, it has changed my life because I was put back in my sc hool work. My education will have t o stan again. l feel like I have ruined my whole life by ge llin g pregnant. Don't get me wrong. r l ove my baby. It ha s affected my lif e to rhe point that inst ead of worrying about on l y my life, now I have to worry about m y baby's also. Second. it ha s changed by life because I feel like I have disappoimed my m other. I also believe I have ruined my chances of becoming a lawyer. I say this because instead of going t o school everyday. I s tay home and care for t h e baby. Also if s h e is s ick. 1 si t up with her all night and care for her My having a baby has changed my whole family life My mother i s a christian and believes you should not have children out-of-wedlock. I feel bad because 1 did. Having a chi l d ear l y sets yo u back in lif e. That doe s n't mean that you are finis hed though your l i fe can change. It has messed up my future because I was set back a year from school and college. I would ad v ise any teenager not to engage in sexual intercouse until you are finished sc hool because you arc at risk. One of the risk s i s gening pregnant and also contract ing a sexually transmitted disea s e. M Y A D V ICE I S ST A Y I N SCHOOL AND L EAVE SEX FOR L ATER IN LIFE. Teen Mother Age: 16 year s I am a t ee n mother. lt has not been very easy being one I did not plan to ge t pregnant. it jus t happened. When I found out I was pre g nant I was t en (10) weeks along. 1 immedi ately s tarted to cry. I didn't know what to tell my mother, knowing that she would be ashamed b eca use l let her down Bi g Time." When I told my boyfriend h e sa id that he was so rry it happened and that he would stick with me through whatev e r I planned to do with the baby. Eventually my mom found out, I don't know how, but she knew. My mother was really hurt because all she could do was cry, and it broke my heart to see her like that. My Mom said that I keep the baby because I wasn't financially phys ically or emotionally ready to have a child. Having a baby is a twenty-four hour job. After a friend of mine spoke A g e : 17 y ears Having my son at such a young age has affected me great ly, but I don't regret having him. It has just put a s udden bol d on my life. f a ther I d o n't know how I would make it. If i t wasn't diapers, or bab y food, it was doctor bills. I d idn't know that I would have so many expenses until I had a child. I must admit that times hav e been hard, but because o f the love of my family and f riends, each day that goes by I know that there's someon e near who cares. Even though I've gone through a lot it was all worth i t because I have a beautiful, healthy, baby boy. I would not encourag e any y oung girl to go and hav e a child b eca u s e it i s not a light responsibili ty; neither is it a game A baby is as real as lif e and should not b e tak e n li g htly. So I would advi se any y oung girl to a bstain from sex. "All good thin gs take time and sex is on e thing that can really wait. Being a teenage mother i s not an easy j'ob, especially if you have n o t graduat e d from school. When you have the baby, you get another chance to return to school but things won' t be t h e same because you'll have so much to catch up on, then you have to tum around and take care of your c hild. If it wasn't for the help of my family and the baby's Age: 18 years Dear fellow teenagers: When you find out that you are preg nant it is c rushin g. Ques,tion s rus h through your h ead. You wonder why me? Why n o t someon e e l se? You think. w hat a m I goin g to do ? I CANNOT handle this But being pre g nant does not hit yo u right away. Y o u feel that you are dreaming and you will soo n awake and everything will b e tine. The n you face rea l ity. Y o u feel that you hav e fail e d and there i s no future for you. B e in g pregnant puts yo ur I i fe on hold. You ha ve placed yo ur self in a dilemma. The fee lin g that yo u cannot erase what ha s happen ed is difficult You think of how your life wou l d have bee n if yo u had not had a baby. Age: I S years Doing my own thing got me where I am today. a teenager with a baby on the way. It didn t matter to me what the consequences wou l d be bull have to care becau se I'm about to have a baby. My boyfriend is still around. I guess that's a good thing but I really should have waited on the diamond ring. My boyfriend was shocked but he didn't deny it becaus e he trusts me and knows that l wouldn't l ie My parents were also shocked, but a l so filled with anger and pain it was my life that see med to be going down the-drain. The nine month s of pregnancy was filled with s l eepless nights By the time I got to sleep it was almo s t daylight. Labour was the most work I've ever done in my life, through the twenty-two hours of labour l didn't think I would s urvive; but I did, and now I have a beauti ful baby girl. I'm proud of my baby and l'm not ashlumed to s how her to the world. Babie s bring joy. but they also bring stress, work and more sleepless nig h t s. This was my c hoice so I have to do the work. and I have to do it right, Because of my pregnan cy my education went to second ba se, but now education in my life must have a place You never know how much work babies can be until you have one of your own. That's why I say to young girls t ake my advice and w ai t, wai t wait! A ge : 15 year s with my moth er. she let me keep the baby. B y m e keeping the baby I had to drop out of high school. a nd a l so lose all of the respect of my friends. All of my dreams h ad gone down the drain until a friend of mine told me about the sc hool for teen mothers. I join ed the sc hool and realized that 1 could s till have big h hopes of ha v in g a good career. I also realiz ed that havin g a baby i s n t the end of th e world. I had a lot of support from one particular friend, a teacher and counsellors. They encouraged me that my life was not over, and that it i s not too l ate to do something good with it. My advice forteenagers who are hav ing sexual intercourse is to stop before you get caugbt. because having a baby at a young age is hard. If I could c h a n ge anything about m y life, I would m a k e it so t h a t I wait before I hav e sex A ge : I S years I am not pregnant anymore, but I messed up and l know I have to pay. I love my baby but it's hard work. M y Life hasn' t changed completely, b u t l'm a mother and I now have a lot of responsibilities I am going to be successful in life a n d bave m y dreams f ul filled. I'm lucky, because I have my family's support and also the support of my boyfriend. 1 have made a mistake o n ce, a n d l' m paying for it now. I know I will not make t h e same mistake twice. Age: IS years 1 feel that being pregnant affected my l ife. becau se I had p l anned to graduate from high s chool get my diploma and go off to college. But. it didn't happen that way. I was pregnant for a guy who was about to graduate. It had m e worried because I felt h e would be out there doing his own thing while I was in sc hool worrying. Getting pregn a nt put me back a s tep but it didn't s top m e from reaching for my s tar s and go in g afte r my dreams. Lonely night s without s leep was s t ress ful. but he ( my boyfriend } w as the r e :tnd I am thankful. Youn g girls take a d vantage o f your o ppo rtunities in life a n d sc hool a nd r eac h for the stars. Your future are sl im. if you just sit th ere. You ha ve to look ahead to better thin gs. You hav e to make the decision that you will achieve all that you put yo ur mind t o do. Y o u ha ve to make thin gs happen for you a nd do not let anybody tell yo u 'Yo u hav e f a i l ed. Y o u hav e n ot failed until yo u s top tryin g So before you do anything rid i c ul o us, think of all th e conse This is what I felt before I was pregnant, while I was pregnant and whal 1 have to do flOW thai I already have m y child. Fini!ih yo ur ed u cation lil'l-t and worry a bou t every thin g else lat er! -._ Life is a challenge, so I met it, Life is a gift, so I kept it, It was a sorrow, sure they overcame it, Sometimes it felt like a game, so I played with it, At first it was a mystery, so I unfolded it, It was a long journey, I completed it, It is now a promise, so I will fulfill it, I brought forth a beauty, yes I praised i t Yes, I have a goal and I am going to achieve it, Now this is my puzzle, if you can solve it. Age: I S year s Dear t eenagers: I am a teen mother-to-be. My letter will ent ail how my life has c han ged and how it will c h a nge i n the future. Please! pay close attention to what I have written. it may benefit you. As a teen mother-to-be my lile ha s been tr a n sfo rm ed greatly. Fir st of ,;II, parties. concerts, and any other events do n o t now ex i s t on my agenda. Foods I would regularly eat. I can't because the y are bad for m y baby's he

Pag( 7 The (Expecting )Teen Mother Teen Talk B y Barbara Gibson, Apri l 1991 Family Life Educatio n in sc hool To teach the s tudents to be no fool, J was talking to s ome the other day It 'll s urprise you, so me of the things they s ay. What is love? What is sex? I s it education ftrSt then baby next? I m se xually abu se d but no one knows My mom questioned me, do you think it shows? How old one must be to go on a date? Why do teen boys masturbate? Why aren t condoms sold in the store? Why when you have sex once you always want more? Why shouldn't teen girls take the pi!J? At the age of fourteen would it make them ill? Why do boys force you to go to bed? The cares of U1is life really hurts my bead. A n swers for thes e que s tions are what we n eed Y es, Family Lif e Education is needed indeed. Question s Ques tion s And more question s too Teachers what on earth are we going to do? Age: 14 years l am a teenager just like you. 1 had ability opportunity and poten tiaL l had everything going for me. 1 e ngaged in sex ual intercourse at age twelve years My boyfriend and I were playing around and one thing led to another. I wa s young at the time and didn't use a contra ceptive. Time passed and we continued to have sex. I missed iny first period. 1 didn't know that I wa s pregnant so I didn't tell him. We always talked about havin g a baby but w e n ever got deep into conversation. The month that followe d 1 didn t see it e ither. I told him I might be pregnant because he wanted a baby. As time went on 1 finally built up eno ugh courage to tell my guardians. I wa s not living with my parents. They were upset with m e, and my aunt and my grand-mother wanted me to have an abortion. I DON' T BELIEVE lN ABORTION We went to the clinic to see how far along I was The doctor told my aun t l was 16 weeks pregnant. I wa s happy and dis appointed at the same time. They told me I couldn't live with them anymore and that I had to move out by the end of February My gran d m other artd my mother-in -law' agreed to let me stay at my 'motherin laws h o use for a wbile 1 am still there but I will b e mov ing soon. 1 am now tive months pregnant and my boyfriend supplies me with every thing I n ee d to nave abealthybaby. I have support from my mother in Jaw and my sister, they are both very kind to me. The father said he will support the baby when he's born but I am having doubts. Things have not always been a bed of roses for me. l didn't tell my parents because 1 know they were going to be upset and disap pointed in m e because I bad no regrets about having a baby But if I could change what's happened to me in the past five months, I would jump at th e opportunity. I am not ashamed of being pre gnant and I am not a s hamed of dropping out of school at age 14. I am ashamed of how m y parents treated me when they found out I was pregnant. I use to cry and worry a lot if thing s would ever be the same again for me in life I have stopped worrying because I have the support of my s ister, grand-mother and my boyfriend's family l know deep within that I wa s n t r eady to cross that road, but when my baby is born I will Jove and s upp ort it's every need. I also know mother -h ood is not easy but it is also too late to say I wish I had waited till 1 was more mature. I know tha t my life is going to be put on hold for a very lon g time. But that doe s n t matter anymore. I can s till go back to school and fur ther my education. Getting pregnant for a boy doe s n t mean that he will always be "Sexuality goes hand in hand with responsibility" Age: 18 years Ha ving understood that children should be afforded a good education proper home, a balanced nutritious diet the love and attention that they rightly deserve, I have decided to begin my childbearing days when I am physically, mentally, and psycho logically fit. However I also have decided to remain sexually active with my spouse. So how am l going to remain sexually active and avoid pregnancy? Well, the answer was given to me at the Family Planning Clinic. Joining the Family Planning Clinic has taught me that sexuality com. es band-in-hand with responsibility. The clinic has also given me the inteJJec tual ability to skillf ully approach sexual siruatio n s with maturity. Counselling is offered for both my spouse and I. I t has enlightened both of us about the sexual world that not only con s i sts of pleasure but a wide range of diseases. SID's such as HJV/AIDS syphilis, gono rrh ea and chlamydia, which are transmitted through sex. can be avoided if we only take proper precautions and protect ourselves. The Family Planning C lin ic bas opened my mind to many ways of protecting myself, but above all they have suppo rted and cared for me along with support from my spouse. Now I am on my shots and fee l quh e comfortabl e and relax e d each month becau se 1 don t have to fear having an unplanned child. On the other hand, it s vital for me to hav e r egular phy s ical check-ups, PAP s mear s, and brea st examinatio n s which we .re aU offered to me by the Family Plannin g Clinic. Thanks to the Family P lanning Clinic; I will have my child when l am en t irely tit and my health will be monitored regularly. Rem embe r teens. if you are sex ually active you must also be responsible enough to prot ec t and care for your bodies. I've lost so much I've lost so much What should I do? I'm a high scho ol-drop-out I didn't make it through. there for you. Stop fooling your s elf. I toJd my boyfriend if he wanted to leave b e could, but he chose to stay and take care of his responsibility. I wanted to become a lawyer but that can wait, having my baby is all that matters. [ can sti U become a lawyer one day. I Jove my boyfriend and our unborn child and thank goodness I am still attending sch ool. If you are a teenager engaging in sex, s top! There is a time for that lat er. If you h ave already started ens u re that yo u use a co ndom or get married before you have sex. Don't let anyone press ure you into anything that you a re not ready for Sit down and ask yourself if you can handle a baby and if d1at i s the right thing for you in years to come. I cannot change what has happened, but I can be wiser the next time. l lost everything, my hopes and dreams 1 got them back, but you may not be as lucky as me. Please don t be foolish and mes s up your lilfe for one night of plea su.(e. There i s always time for that. Just say no! I'm a teenage mother T ell me, who's to blame? I feel very sorry for myself Now I hang my bead in shame. did I go wrong? At I told him no But he threatened to leave me, So I made up my mind t o go. I always wanted children But not until I was ready, Now here 1 am a teenage mother And I'm not eve n in love with Freddie So I can say to you young ladies Once i s all it takes C h eck your famil y planning clinic Before yo u m a k e the same m istake. What to Say When He Says "No" H e says: condoms are o m romanric Y o u S;:ty: .. Jus t give m e those con(i(llns. ;md r u s h ow yuu huw rumam i c they c;m he"" He says: "'You don "ttrust me You say: '"Ia's o N a mauer of t ru" it"s a mauer or health He .. But I l ove you Y ou s ay: I l ove yo u too but being i n l ove can"t protect us H e says: know rm ckan. I haven't hud with :myune d'e in yean;'" You say: Thanks for tell me. but let"s usc a comlom :mywuy: He $Uys: r can"t feel a thing when I wear o n e .. You says: -rm sorry if i t makes you i(>se sensatinn Muybc I can pruvidc s.)mc extr a s timulation to make up: He says: -ru lm;e m y erection b y the time I get i t nn You say : Here let me help you .. H e says: Ju st this o nce: You s ay : "'Once is a ll lt takes: H e says: 1 h ave nne" You say: r do'" He says : what are you doing with thuc'/ Did you pl m tu scc.lucc meT You say: always carry one beca u se I care ilbout mysel f Anu I maue sure I had "'"' tonight becau se I cure abnut yuu: He says: Tm not u.'ing one. forget it."" You Say: .. Lct s put oiT intercuu n:c then. until we ca n wnrl: mu tlur

Family Planning is everybody's business Myths and misconception There are many myths and miscon ceptions regarding fami l y plannin g in a multi-racial society like The Bahamas. Cultural, racial economic, education and religious beliefs impact heavily on the auitudes to controlling ones' fertility. MYTH family planning is believed to be onl y for the poor and females of the society. FACT-it is well stated that family planning is a decision for every well thinking individual. rich or poor. male or female. It allows them to have the number of children they desire by choice and nor by chance. MYTH having many children ensures economic income, social advancement and financial security during old age. FACT controlling the number of children in ones family gives the individual, the couple. the family and the nation the opportunity for better nurturing. housing. health care, nutri tional, educational and over all improvements in the qua lit y of life. MYTH using "fa mily planning" causes a woman t o cheat. FACT-cheating in a r e l ationship is cau sed by many factors, emotional. financial as well as physical. Taking contraception does n ot affect any of these directly. Con tra ceptives do not change morality, they do n ot make an individual good or bad. MYTH Contraceptives cause a woman to become infertile. FACT' Difficulty in getting preg nant is most commonly cau sed by blockage in the tubes. Contracep t ives do not cause b l ockage of the tubes, rather infection does. When a coup le wishes to become pregnant. stopping the method allows this to take place in due course. It may take five months after stopping the pill, and nine months after stopping the injec tion. MYTH -Family planning is a way to get rid of the black race. FACT-There are more white fami lies in the world using contraceptives than there are black. MYTH Contracep t ives cause cancer FACT in over thirty years of usage in many millions of women the pill has not been shown to cause any can cer and may h ave a protective effect in some cases. MJSCONCEPTION fami l y plan ning is available over the counter. FACTthe only method available in this way are spermic idal c reams, gels, condoms and spo nges and th is is as it sho uld be. Contraceptives are powerful medications that can have side effects and must be dispensed by knowledgeab l e professionals. C ONCLUSION Despite the many myths and misconceptions regarding family planning. it has a vital role to play in the Jives of the individual, the couple. the family and the nation. Proper use of these methods allow a better quality of life than the un cer tainty of a huge and unmanageable family, so Jets care for ourse l ves, Jets care for our husbands, wives and c h ildren through fami l y planning. the wise c h oice. SCHOOL REPRESENTA TIVE a number of educa tors from schools around Grand Bahama attended the recent National Reproductive Health & Family Planning Training Works hop at the Rand Memorial Hospital. Pictured (from left) are: Ange l a Hepburn, staff nurse and lo cal coordinator for the pilot pro gramme on Grand Bahama; Verdell Hield, principal, West End All Age Sc hool ; Martha Bullard, senior mistress Walter Parker Primary; Lena Smith, senior mistress Freeport Primary School a nd Mavis Ward, health systems officer. FAMILY PLANNING & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH APRI L I 5 ''Focal Point" ZNS, 1540, 8:30 a.m. -"Chrissy's Show'', M ore 94.9 FM 10 a.m.-11 a.m. APRIL 17 "Breakfast Club" 7:30a.m. Love 97 FM -Multi-Disciplinary Forum, Grosvenor Close Campus 8 a.m.-3 p.m. APRIL 18 "Breakfast Club" 7:30a.m. More 94.9 FM, APRIL 23 -"Public Education Forum, C R. Walker School, Blue Hill Road, 7 9 p.m. APRIL 24 "Chrissy's Show, -Public Education Forum, Thelma Gibson School, Elizabeth Estates, 7-9 p.m. APRIL 25 Focal Point Remote" Royal Victoria Gardens, 8:30 "Speak-Up Bahamas", a.m. ZNS 1540, 10-12 m.n. T-shirt day APRIL 22"Chrissy's Show", APRDJ 26 "Dream Machine" ZNS 1540 2-4 p.m. -Exhibition, Health Fair & Rally, Flamingo Gardens, 12 noon 6 p.m. APRIL 29"Chrissy's Show", More 94.9 FM APRIL 30 "Immediate Response" ZNS 1540 1 2 noon-! p.m., Anthony Delaney. -"Let's Talk Health", LOVE 97 FM 8 9 p.m. TIIE MINIS1RY OF HEALTH'S FAMILY PLANNING SECRETARIAT says P ag.8 to the following for their overwhelming support: The Print and Ele ct r o nic Media for continuous coverage during the "Awareness Month". ZNS Broadca sting Corporation: Mr Picewell Forbes and The Dream Machine" "Focal P oint" and "Speak-Up Bahamas!" Mr Anthony Delaney and Response". More 94. 9 FM and "Chrissy's Show". Love 97.9 FM Mr Greg L ampkin and The Breakfast Club" All guests of the above R adio Shows. The Rector, Archdeacon James Palacious and the family of St. Matthew 's Parish for an inspiring church service. Mr. James Bethel of T-Rex Manufacturing ( Tshirt Produ ction) 1 All private citizens, government and non -government agencies w ho h ave purchased and are purchasing T-shirt s The Distinguished Panellists of the Publi c Edu cation Fora to be held on April 23rd and 24th at the C R. Walker and Thelm a Gibson School s respectively: Magistr at e Sharon Wilson, Archdeacon James Palacious Dr Mildred Hall-W atson, Dr. Homer Bloomfield Nurse Allison Sands Mrs. Carmen Gomez, Mr. Anthony Gomez, Inspector Arnold Josey, Magistrate Rodger Gomez the Rev. Dr Simeon Hall, Dr. Robin Roberts, Nurse Cecile Dorsette Mrs. Marlene O Brien Mr. Clifford Johnson Inspector Allydice Strachan. C.R. Walker School (use of auditorium) Thelma Gibson Primary School (use of library) Our Collaborators Bahamas Family Planning Association Department of Social Services Ministry of Education's Family Life Education Programme The staff of the Department of Public Health, and All of our clients and potential clients