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

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

Safe Motherhood #4 – My Personal Eventful Birth Experience Prt 2

Catch up on  my previous post, Safe Motherhood #3 – My Eventful Birth Story part 1

I woke up in the early hours of the day I would eventually deliver my baby to go to the toilet. I discovered that I was already wet, wet with a lot of blood. It was kind of scary but I thought it was the blood show that sometimes occurs as a prelude to labor pains in some pregnant women. How naïve I was if only I had known what that meant but not knowing kept me from panicking. I had to change my sanitary towel like twice before day break. When we saw how heavy the blood flow was, my husband and I knelt down beside our bed and prayed not knowing what lay ahead. We simply had faith that God will take control beyond our understanding of what was happening. I didn’t get much sleep so I had my bath and as soon as it was 6 am off we went to the home of a family friend who was a doctor and lived in our neighborhood.

When we shared what had been happening with him he simply said he would immediately take me to the hospital in a very unsuspecting doctor’s way of treating an emergency in a not alarming way. We had no idea that it was a serious thing. It was only after a series of scan tests and then my consultant was called to attend to me on a Sunday that I realize something serious was up. He came in right from attending church service.

I was still puzzled by all the back and forth going from the hospital ward to the scan room severally. Finally, my consultant said, “Madam we are going to do a caesarean section in order to save the life of you and your baby”. I took a heavy breath and became really afraid of going to the theater to deliver my baby that in the given circumstance I had no choice.

I was wheeled into the theater and I woke up two weeks after delivery of my baby. I do remember trying to wake up from the anesthesia effect but that was all I can remember. Much of what happened afterward was narrated to me by my husband.

The surgery was successful and my baby was alive only he was underweight. And because I couldn’t breastfeed him since I was really sick myself, he was admitted to the special baby care unit.
Why did I need a caesarean section? What was the cause of the bleeding? I was told that I had Placenta Previa (When the placenta detaches from the uterine wall and bleeding occurs).

mumjunction.com

After delivery of my baby, I had eclampsia (Pregnancy induced high blood pressure that leads to seizure). Usually, a woman can experience preeclampsia during pregnancy which later leads to eclampsia. This characterized by swollen feet, high blood pressure. However, these signs did not present itself in the last trimester of my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my B.P went up after the CS that resulted in a seizure. All these I didn’t know and do not have a memory of. My husband prayed hard that I would survive and my doctors did their best to stabilize me.

After coming around two weeks after delivery, I still was very weak and needed some time to recuperate. Mostly my body had been starved of proper nutrition through pregnancy and I didn’t have enough stamina to even breastfeed. I was not to be discharged for another week and a half. My baby’s naming ceremony held one month after delivery!!

The two major birth complications that occurred (Placenta Previa & Pre-eclampsia) during the delivery of my baby are factors that have been the cause of many maternal deaths. I do not take lightly the blessing and mercy of been alive to tell my story and possibly help as many women from being endangered in such a way.

What Saved Me:

Registering for antenatal and delivering at an equipped hospital with trained health personnel went a long way in prompt attendance to my emergency. Imagine if I had gone to give birth at a mission house or with a local mid – wife where they are ill equipped to manage my kind of emergency. It would have been a different story.

Lessons
• My body was severely malnourished and starved of the required nutrient needed to carry a baby. Therefore the after effect of my falling ill after delivery. Even after being discharged from the hospital I needed to really feed and rest well before I regained my strength and weight again (Though I am naturally a slim person).

Ignorance is no excuse to dare consequences of not knowing what you should know. Please get registered for antenatal quickly as soon as you discover you are pregnant.

Read books on what expectant mothers should do in order to have a healthy baby and be healthy themselves.
Measures that helped me relax in between births

Managing after effects of my  birth complication and Resting Well

I was advised to go for family planning in order to prevent me from getting pregnant too soon. My body was not ready for another pressure of carrying a baby.
It also afforded me the time needed to heal properly.

Three years down the line I became pregnant and this time I was ready. I even began to take folic acid and B-complex to boost my multivitamin level. I had learned my lessons and today I can sing this song:

I’m Alive today because God kept me…

Thanks to all my doctors and nurses who took care of me at that very trying period in my life and that of my family.

Photo Credit: mumjunction.com

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Guest Interview : Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan (WhatsupIbadan) / CEO Geomeridien

At an on-going training for Social Media Bloggers on Effective Family Planning Projection organized by DEVCOMS NETWORK, I met this fantastic Lady doing great things.

Her story is real, funny and inspiring for every woman out there and even men.

I will sum up her story with these words:

Where you think there is nothing, therein lies your future

Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan is the co-founder of a blog platform named: WhatsupIbadan where she works alongside her husband as Marketing manager. Toyin is also the CEO Geomeridien travel and tours business intertwined with community service.

How did she get here?
Toyin was offered a Diploma admission into the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State Nigeria to study Transport and Management. It was not what her heart was set on doing but you know how parents will want their child to start any available course instead of waiting at home to write JAMB again. This will mean another year of wait.

Toyin’s words: My first thought when I was offered this course (Transport & Management) was the “Agberos”(Bus conductors) or at best a Taxi Cab driver. For like three months I didn’t attend classes.

It was like she had been sentenced to the worst kind of course which had no future prospect little did she know that therein laid her dream career ticket.

Bisi: So what changed things for you?
Toyin: My first-semester result was bad. I barely passed, this woke me up. I, therefore, determined to study hard. As time passed by and I came to a realization that transportation covered is a wide field and offers me an array of career opportunities. I found out that there were different categories of transport such as Land, Air, Water, Cargo to Ship. I discovered that I could work in Customs service, VIO, Ministry of works and transport, tourism and much more. Soon I fell in love with my course.

Initially, she thought of studying Economics at the BSc level after finishing her diploma instead she went further with a degree in Transport and Management.

Bisi: What happened after your first degree?
Toyin: The Tourism aspect of my course struck me most and it became my passion this led me to do a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management in India.

Bisi: What did it feel like studying in a foreign country?
Toyin: At first it was difficult adjusting to the new culture. I found my way gradually and began to mingle. Where I come from we greet everyone but I noticed people kept to themselves. I started to take the initiative to say hello to people I meet every day from the security man to the gadner and my schoolmates too. People began to warm up to me. Over there in India far away from home, I engaged in community service visiting Orphanage homes and even organized a summer event that brought rich and poor children’s children together. This I did in collaboration with my colleagues in school, lecturers who bought into our idea. It was a rich rewarding and fulfilling time.

Bisi: When did you start your business?
Toyin: All these community service activities inspired me to start my Travels and Tours business back in India even as a student. Now we are also here in Nigeria. Our business name is Geomeridien Travels & Tours.

Bisi: So what is next for you?
Toyin: I continue to look for ways I can reach out more to my communities and make a difference.

Bisi: Your Life’s Motto/Inspiration

Toyin: What you give to life is what life gives back to you.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)