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21st January 2019

Sierra Leone: Marie Stopes Launches New ‘Back-Up’ Family Planning Product!

By a press release (15/12/18) 

Marie Stopes Sierra Leone's newest product, ‘Back-Up’, is an emergency contraceptive that stops pregnancy within 72 hours after unprotected sex.


The ceremony took place at the Family Kingdom in Aberdeen Freetown on Saturday 8th November 2018 in the presence of various stakeholders, including the Planning, Policy and Information Officer in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Francis Smart.

Also present were the District Medical Officer Western Area Urban (MOH&S). Dr. Sylvia Fasuluku; the Programme Manager Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health, Patricia Bah; Matron in the Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery services, Madam Amba Coker, and other staff of Marie Stopes Sierra Leone and the press.

With an increasing number of unprotected sex staying on-the-go, Marie Stopes Sierra Leone has responded with a new twist on family planning gaming.

Marie Stopes Sierra Leone (MSSL) has released its new family planning commodity Back-Up, creating a whole new category of emergency family planning contraceptive.

Levonorgestrel belongs to the family of medications known as progestins. Progestins are female sex hormones that are used in birth control pills and often in combination with the hormone oestrogen.

Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progestin-only emergency birth control pill intended for use within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. It is intended for use only by those women whose regular birth control methods have failed or who may have had intercourse without birth control. It is not a substitute for correct use of regular birth control.

This medication is believed to prevent pregnancy primarily by delaying ovulation or preventing fertilization of the egg. It may also prevent implantation of the egg by altering the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus). It is important to realize that once implantation has occurred and pregnancy is established, levonorgestrel cannot cause an abortion or harm the foetus. No serious complications have been reported with this medication.

This medication reduces the risk of pregnancy among users from around 8% to around 1% after unprotected sexual intercourse. It is most effective in the first 24 hours after intercourse. It should be noted that this medication does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections.

Each round, biconvex, white tablet with "LN" debossed on one side and "1" on the other side, contains 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose PH102, lactose monohydrate fast flow, croscarmellose sodium, poloxamer 188, and magnesium stearate vegetable.

The 1.5 mg tablet contained in the kit should be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. The medication is most effective if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse.

As reliable as contraception is, there are times when birth control doesn’t work. Like occasionally, when we use a method incorrectly. Or on a rare occasion when a condom breaks and sometimes - especially when partying - we forget to use anything at all. All these times scream out: Emergency Contraception NOW!

Back-Up is perfect for an easy gift, for those that are on-the-go and for those that appreciate a quickie game you can enjoy endlessly!

Finally, with support from leading telecommunications companies - Orange and Africell SL, our clients are encouraged to use the free mobile line 3535 from either network to seek clarifications or book their preferred choice of services and at any of our clinics nationwide at

Courtesy: The Calabash Newspaper

TRIBUTE: Alpha Shaw

Journalist, Student Activist, Leader, 1958-1980

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