A-DAY OUTREACH ON FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES (FP) In commemoration of World Population Day at Oje Market, Ibadan

A view of Oje Market on Tuesday 10th July 2018 Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia
NURHI Community mobilizers sensitizing market men & women about the ongoing free family planning service outreach. Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia

At the Oje Market bustling with activities where market women display their wares and goods to sell to customers, the atmosphere was a mixed ambiance of buying and selling noise and drums with dancing.

Something was up at the market on this day. Right at the center of the market close to the “Babaloja” (Chairman of the market) tents were mounted up and chairs arranged to receive beneficiaries of the free family planning services been provided for the market women and anyone who was interested in accessing this service.

As one of the media crew who was present to cover this exciting program I observed that a few women were already sitting waiting patiently as the health workers and FP service providers set things up putting in place products to serve these dear women who keep working hard to make a living and taking care of their family members. Other women hawking bread; food vendors and so on dropped their wares to take advantage of the moment. I knew juicy stories were waiting for me here but most of all it was great seeing these low income earning women get the opportunity to make a decision about their reproductive life.

The slogan for the outreach-

Family Planning is Life Planning: Know About it, Accept it, Access it.

Nigeria currently ranks  number 7 in the world population. In a 2017 report earlier by UN- Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) the country is expected to be the the third most populous nation in the world! Nigeria with a projected population of 187million is expected to grow to about 250million. This is alarming given the nation’s economic indices and GDP growth which is not commesurate to cater for provision of basic amenities and sustainable livelihood for citizens. The government need to plan for the future by putting in place measures to control population explosion that will further impact negatively on our economy.

Meet two of the beneficiaries as they share their FP story and onwhy they showed up at the outreach:

Mrs Idowu and her baby after taking her free injectable family planning method. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Idowu Olaide – FP Service beneficiary – A tailor 
I am at Oje Market to access the free family planning services been provided here today. I became a user of FP because my older sisters who are also mothers are users of family planning. This encouraged me to also become a user when I began to have my children and It has been three years now since I started using FP. I am on the 3 monthly injectables Family planning method. So today I came for a follow-up visit to have another dose of my FP method. I have enjoyed the method I use. Often I tell other women to also go and access family planning because it has many benefits. It prevents a woman from getting pregnant when she is still nursing a baby

Mrs Saheed after collecting her FP Pills in an interview with Journalists. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Saheed Suliat 
I became educated about family planning and its benefits through awareness on the radio and then at the clinic nurses and health workers talk to us about it. I have been a user of the Pills family method even before I got married. Today I am here to access free FP services and therefore I was able to get my pills for free here at this outreach in the market
This particular beneficiary had a misconception that FP prevents sexually transmitted diseases. It is important to note that only Condom has a double protection which is preventing unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Some of the Facilitators of the Outreach share their thoughts :

Mrs. Victoria Segilola -Program Officer ARFH
This outreach is all about bringing the family planning services to market women who find it difficult to leave their business to go family planning to access services. So we have brought the free services to their doorsteps and attending to clients does not take more than 10 minutes and then they can go back to their shops. Team members and mobilizers are all over the market sensitizing the market women and men.

Mrs. Segilola has been an advocate for family planning for over 40 years.

I am happy at the progress we have made in reducing maternal mortality rate according to statistics. This the basis of all efforts at encouraging more women to take on family planning. And it is heartwarming to see that all collaborative efforts have greatly improved peoples uptake of FP.
However, these women need the support of their husband and government. More Funds investment by the government will improve these low earning women to have free access to family planning services.

Mrs. Stella Akinso State Team Lead, NURHI Oyo State
We are here at the Oje Market to let people know that family planning uptake is not by cohesion it is voluntary. Promoting the right of every human being to access FP particularly Women of Reproductive years
Right to information and quality services about family planning that will empower them to make the right decisions
Data shows that there is high knowledge but low acceptance of FP especially with rural and urban-rural women who still need their husband’s permission to take up Family planning services. We are encouraging spousal communication but also want people to know that it is the right of every individual of reproductive age to seek and to access family planning services.

As we celebrate another world population day it is imperative to understand that it is the right of every citizen to make informed choices about planning their lives in order to achieve a more productive life.

In our efforts to combat poverty we must pay attention to our population and be sure that we have enough resources to cater for our growing number.

Organizers:
National Population Commission in collaboration with development partners ( The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative(NURHI 2); Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN); Association of Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH); Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA); and National Orientation Agency (NOA).

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

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What You Must Know Before Getting Pregnant #safemotherhood

Media visit to NURHI 72 hour makeover PHCs in Ibadan. Mrs Elegbeleye Atinuke (Senior CHEW) in an FP counseling session with a mother – Mrs Lamidi Rukayat. Media group was graciously allowed to witness the session with client’s permission.

What you know can help you make informed choices. The problem is sometimes we do not have access to the necessary information to help achieve a quality life and improved economic power.

An information shocked I and participants present at a Media Family Planning advocacy Roundtable meeting organized by Development Communications Network(DEVCOMS) supported by The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative(NURHI). I have always felt that ectopic pregnancies occur only in the fallopian tube but at this meeting, we heard that a woman was reported to have actually carried to term a baby that developed in her abdomen. The facilitator Dr. Tunde Olatunji explained further that the abdomen is that place which houses the womb, stomach, liver, kidney etc for those of us not medically inclined. So rest easy the abdomen is not the same as the stomach where food is digested.

According to medical reports ectopic pregnancies rarely do survive however It was possible for this woman to have her baby grow in her abdomen and termed instead of her womb. Probably early detection and close monitoring by skilled and well trained medical personnel. Imagine if she had delayed going early to register for antenatal care! The ectopic pregnancy growing in her abdomen would not have been discovered on time which could have been fatal for her and the unborn child. You can read up more about Abdominal pregnancy and the threat it poses to  a woman.

It is very important therefore that every woman, expectant or a would be mother be informed about preconception, antenatal and postnatal care available to them.

In lay man’s terms, ectopic pregnancy is when the sperm fertilizes the egg of a woman outside the womb. This means the embryo gets implanted and begins to develop outside the womb. Usually, ectopic pregnancies are flushed out because it is high risk to the health and life of a mother.

According to an article written by the American Pregnancy Association, known risk factors for ectopic pregnancies include:

• Previous abdominal/pelvic surgery
• Several induced abortions
• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Maternal age of 33 -44 years

Knowledge is like a light bulb in a person’s head which sheds light on an issue. @debisibusybee

A few take away from Dr. Tunde Olatunji’s lecture on Improving Maternal Health

  1.  Preconception care involves providing adequate education about what pregnancy means to a woman’s health. Would be mothers should be encouraged to take care of themselves, eat right and stay healthy. This will prepare their body for the challenges that come with conception
  2. The health of a woman during pregnancy, at birth and postpartum(after delivery), is of crucial importance.
    Register early enough for antenatal care. This will give the pregnant woman to have access to education about what to eat, tests and immunizations required for expectant mothers; need to rest in between births and not have frequent deliveries etc.
    – Deliveries should be carried out by skilled birth attendants and health personnel.
    – Infection if not diagnosed early can make a woman who delivered safely to fall ill. And this can be a threat to her life.
    – Postnatal care provides information about breastfeeding and when to start feeding the child with other types of foods; immunization dozes for newborns; and when it is safe to have another child.

The first 24 hours after delivery critical for mothers and newborns. 2/3 of all maternal deaths occur during the postnatal period. – Dr. Olatunji

3. Grandmas and mothers-in-law to be educated about old practices that can be harmful to the wellbeing of mother and newborn. Example massaging the umbilical cord with a hot cloth heated on a lantern.

4. The burden of maternal mortality is an important input to health decision-making. Skilled health personnel are inadequate in health facilities; where we ought to have 15-17 personnel there are only 5 -6 skilled workers.

The government needs to invest in health care in order to prevent depletion of its populace and reduce productive manpower.

Family Planning services should also be budgeted for as it has been reported that this helps reduce maternal death by 40%

Life is precious and the one who is the vehicle that conveys life should not die while trying to achieve this. Every life counts and matters. – @debisibusybee

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Media Tour to Aketan and Kolobo Primary Health Centres, Oyo #Maternal/ChildHealth

A conducive working environment makes workers feel confident and helps with being more productive

In the company of a few journalists from Oyo state, I went on a media tour to two Primary Health centers this week. I look forward to trips like this as it gives an opportunity to see things as they really are on the field when working to improves lives of members of our communities. In this instance, I and the media team got an eyewitness account of what Primary Healthcare facilities in Aketan and Kolobo in Oyo town looked like after a 72hour makeover work by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI).

These facilities had been renovated a year ago by NURHI and made conducive for mothers, infants, and children who come to the access health care services. The field visit was organized by DEVCOMS Network, a media development, capacity-building non-governmental organization working with NURHI in promoting media advocacy on maternal and child health and family planning.

Front view of Kolobo PHC. Head Nurse-Mrs Adesola, DEVCOMS project Manager – Omobonike Ogungbemi and Demola – Tribune.

As the team of media personnel drove into the compound of Kolobo PHC which was the first facility we visited, I noticed the building looked bright and colorful as the painting on the wall still looked new. In a chat with the head nurse Mrs. Adekoya, she explained that prior to the renovation she and her staff could only use one room to carry out all services to clients. This included attending to every case in that same room and staff could not sit comfortably in the other rooms inside the building. She was all smiles and happy that the facility was now more conducive to their work.

Health workers need well-equipped facilities and a conducive neat environment in order to work efficiently.

Hospital beds at Kolobo PHC and baby cots

However, the Head Nurse advocated for more beds to be provided as the health care center had only four beds. Therefore whenever more than four women are in labor then there is usually a problem of bed space to accommodate the extra waiting mothers. Sometimes they put an extra mattress on the floor and they are forced to discharge mothers quickly after delivery. The good news is that more women now come to the facility to adopt family planning methods suitable for them at the renovated facility.

Mrs Isiak Zainab an FP user posing for a picture at the renovated family planning room at Kolobo PHC.

The other good news on the trip is that I met a number of family planning users who were happy about their methods. One of whom is Mrs. Aisha Shuaibu a 20year old mother of three children already. Using family planning method has now helped her to rest in between births, stay healthy and take care of her family better. Mrs. Isiak Zainab a 28year old mother of two children said they uptake of a family planning method has enabled her to adequately space the birth of her children. They shared their experience using an FP method and how it has helped the well-being of their families. It was also nice to hear that these women are able to give time to their business without the stress of getting pregnant too quickly after being delivered of their babies.

Front view of Aketan PHC as journalists on media tour steps in

At Aketan, the health center was even a bigger facility, here also we were met with a bright looking environment. The head nurse in her testimony said that more women now come to register with the clinic and there is an increase in the number of those coming to take up family planning. Some family planning users also shared their story on how FP is helping they and their families to have a less stressful life.

Maternal and Child health continues to be an important area of health concern as it has to do with preserving the next generation of the human race. Therefore improving the well-being of mothers, infants and children require providing adequate and accessible health care services for them.

One of the challenges of maternal and child health care is getting access to a well- equipped facility that has trained health professionals to cater to the needs of pregnant mothers. The Primary Health Care Service is meant to be close to communities so that mothers do not have to trek long distance in order to get health care services.

Volunteer community mobilizers talking to the media about why they choose to be FP advocates

In Oyo State, there are 33 Local Government Area Councils which has a number of PHCs. As part of the efforts to upgrade this PHC for community use, the Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative since it began its work in Nigeria has contributed immensely to improving maternal health through advocacy, education, and collaboration with all stakeholders in bringing to the fore the need for improved family health and wellbeing. NURHI continues to promote the use of family planning methods in order to raise whole and economically empowered families.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Ectopic pregnancy: Life Threatening – Know the signs and report early for treatment.

This post is inspired by the story of a dear sister whom we almost lost to ectopic pregnancy recently. She passed out and was rushed by family and neighbors to the hospital. It was almost too late! We were all so grateful that she survived it. Not too long after this incidence while in the hospital to do a check-up myself, my doctor lamented over recent cases of ectopic pregnancy. He was sincerely upset by the fact that women who have ectopic pregnancy show up at the hospital almost too late; some did not survive. I sat there at the hospital knowing that something had to be done. So here I am trying to start with writing this piece in order to educate as many people as possible. Please share with others and read up on other materials on ectopic pregnancy.

Credits: iEmily.com

What is Ectopic Pregnancy?

When pregnancy occurs outside the uterus, then it is an ectopic pregnancy. This is also when a fertilized egg settles outside the uterus or womb usually in the fallopian tube. It is also referred to as tubal pregnancy.

It is important to know that ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening pregnancy complication for women. If not quickly discovered can cause serious reproductive organ damage or death. Every life is sacred and no woman should have to die giving birth to another life.

Ectopic pregnancy is a cause of maternal death among women in the first three months of pregnancy. Bleeding occurs when the tube where the baby is growing ruptures and this can lead to death.

According to a Wikipedia report  the rate of ectopic pregnancy 1-2% in developed countries and can be as high as 4%  with pregnancies achieved through reproductive technology. In developing countries it is higher.

A sign that ectopic pregnancy might have occurred:

  • When menstruation does not show up for a while and a woman experiences sharp pain in the lower abdomen. It is therefore very important to study your menstrual circle. (Know the date of your last menstruation that is the day you started. Be informed about the number of days your circle takes e.g 28days or 30days).
  • Irregular bleeding which can be heavy or lighter

Risk factors/Causes of ectopic pregnancy

  • Previous infection in the fallopian tube.
  • Previous surgery of the pelvis or fallopian tube.
  • A blocked tube which can hinder a fertilized egg from descending to the uterus.
  • Previous inflammatory diseases of the fallopian tube and pelvis.
  • Previous attempts at using technology to achieve pregnancy e.g IVF.
  • Previous abortions

Is it treatable?
Yes, ectopic pregnancy when it occurs is treatable. A surgery is usually carried out to remove the growing baby from the fallopian tube in order to save the life of the mother.

Ectopic pregnancy is a major cause of death among women of reproductive age in Africa. When a woman delays going to the hospital, it may be too late to save her.

Dear woman, once you notice a delay in your menstrual flow and you are experiencing sharp pains in your abdomen or bleeding do not play the guessing game of self-medication! Go to see your doctor in the hospital!!!

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Woman To Woman Talk #24: Intrigues of Nursing Newborns (Omugwo): Grandmas & Nursing Mothers

Credits: Grandma Kisses – Pinterest. This is how to pamper a baby with love!!! Lol…

It is a thing of joy for all family members when a new baby arrives. Grandmas and Grandpas do dance steps that had been hidden away for a long time. As soon as news of the birth of a child reaches older parents plans are made for the grand mummy to go and help nurse mother and the newborn. Sometimes a grandma goes to the home of her son and daughter-in-law vice versa before the arrival of the baby.

The baby becomes a center of attention and shared joyful moments between daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law. They forget their differences and celebrate the new member of the family for a while.  But soon the different approach to raising and nursing a child begins to cause a clash. The grandma who has a generation of experience insists on throwing the baby up during bath time and the young mother screams and says, “mama that’s dangerous, please don’t throw my baby up!”😨. The grandma under her glasses😎 if she is wearing one looks at the young mother like, “hey young lady, that’s how I did it with your husband, my son and he is still alive for you to marry!”😒. Grandma also wants to give the baby some local herbs to help make him or her strong, the young mother and father go like, “mama, that can damage the intestine of our baby”! Now grandma is getting frustrated and feeling misunderstood.

Cooking:

The other problem between Grandmas and new mothers when babysitting their newborn is the issue of cooking. Some grandmas want breakfast as early as 7am, an in-between snack before lunch and dinner making a foursquare meal. Guess who has to prepare the meals? The new mother who is still recovering from the herculean task of delivering a 3.7kg baby and God help her if it was not a Caesarean section delivery. So the young mother spends a sleepless night breastfeeding her baby but has to also get up to prepare mama’s food and the type of meal is the one she will properly have to pound yam for mama! Don’t get me wrong, having a baby does not mean that a woman can no longer prepare meals but hey, a new mother needs all the rest she can get!! Some mums a few weeks after delivery end up breaking down and others even land in the hospital…this is not acceptable.

Grandma when you go to the home of your son or daughter to help nurse a baby be prepared to be patient, help a little extra beyond just helping to carry a well-dressed fine looking baby after his or her bath in the morning.

House Chores
Apart from the stress of preparing meals and going to the market to get the ingredient house chores is another matter of concern when a grandma comes to help nurse a newborn. Now this time I am on the grandmas’ side. Some young couples think that since mama is around to help nurse her grandchild she must be ready to do more than her fair share of house chores. Some grandmas simply because they are willing and some don’t want to say no sometimes are made to do the dishes, washcloths, cook, hold the baby at night so the mother can sleep…hmmm very soon grandma will fall ill and all of you will be running in and out of the hospital. I once told one of my siblings who had just had a baby one time to get help when our mum goes to help with nursing their baby. I told her point blank, “mummy is old and cannot be the one doing all your house chores oooo”! “We cannot have her breaking down”, I added.

Our older parents are not slaves so please get an extra hand to help with your house chores when grandma comes to help nurse your baby.

Grandmas are not as agile as they once used to be, making them do all your house chores is an abuse. This not to say they cannot help around the house. They can cook and do whatever else catches their fancy but do not abuse your aged who has come to help you nurse your baby. So grandmas and new nursing mothers balance is the key here…and please be patient with each other.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

January 8th – 12th, 2018: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week in Oyo State

Mothers and Newborns at Akinyele Primary Health Center in Ibadan, Oyo State

The Oyo state government is starting the year in a grand style by paying attention to maternal and child health. A one week long activities which will provide free medical services for mothers, newborn and children in 702 health facilities in various local governments in the state.

Children under five will be given Vitamin A supplement; other services to be provided are malnutrition screening, HIV testing, provision of family planning commodities to help mothers rest in between births, malaria drugs and deworming tablets and more.

The commissioner for health in Oyo State, Dr, Azeez Adeduntan confirms that health officers will visit schools to administer Vitamin A to pupils. What a great way to start another school term as children resume school work this week!!

Encourage mothers around you to take advantage of this free health service…spread the word.
Let’s all join hands together to end maternal and child mortality.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Maternal & Child Health : Best Female Journalist (NAWOJ), 2017

Yippee…  at the just concluded Nigeria Association of Women Journalists(NAWOJ)  Press week events,  Stella Oyebanji emerged as the Best Female Journalist in Oyo State, on the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health reporting Competition.

Stella is part of my team on the Abiye (maternal & child health) radio education project. We are so proud of her. Kudos girl, keep flying high!!

Adebisi Adetunji (C)