To increase the uptake of modern contraceptives in the South Eastern region of Nigeria, AHI conducted a Scale-Up Capacity Building Programme for 100 Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) and Community Health Volunteers (CHVs). This programme was carried out in 4 Local Government Areas across Owerri, Imo State (Ikeduru and Isiala Mbano) and Calabar, Cross River State (Calabar Municipal and Ikom).
The purpose of the programme was to equip the CHEWs and CHVs with the knowledge and skills required to administer DMPA-SC and to instruct women on self-injection of the contraceptive, prepare them for outreach activities and the use of monitoring tools, and finalize each LGA’s Specific Action Plan for their outreach activities. To this end, AHI collaborated with each state’s Ministry of Health’s Family Planning Coordinating Units and Primary Health Centre Development Agencies, as well as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The CHEWs and CHVs were also joined by each LGA’s Family Planning Supervisor.
One of the CHEWs shared her experience during the outreach. “Going into the market, I discovered that not only were we advocating for young people to use the FP commodity, Sayana Press, we were also health consultants for a lot of young women. Some of them have various reproductive health challenges and haven’t even been to the health centre to complain. I met a woman who hasn’t menstruated in more than a year, I had to give her an appointment to come to the health facility.”
Another CHV discovered that she was fighting the spread of misinformation. “I met a client who said a ‘doctor’ had told her that FP commodities cause stretch marks and cancer of the cervix. I debunked the rumours and shared my life experiences with her – different times that I had been on different FP commodities myself and why Sayana Press is very good. I am glad I was able to convince her because she eventually allowed me to inject her.”
By the end of the public outreach exercise, a total of 128 women were reached with DMPA-SC: 48 in Calabar Municipal, 38 in Ikom, 30 in Isiala Mbano, and 12 in Ikeduru.