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Zeba, a qualified Lady Health Worker (L.H.V.) was invited to and attended the five day training conducted by MSS on FP services. The training also touched upon the business management aspect and informed the participants regarding the unmet need for FP services within the poorest and women most in need. In addition, infection prevention protocols and relevant medical information was also shared.
This training reacquainted Zeba with FP service delivery methods, who had not been practicing for more than five years. Zeba had been forced to leave her profession due to her marriage. Her parents-in-law were extremely conservative and considered FP to be against religion. Her husband, too, had been very unsupportive, refusing to acknowledge the use of FP services. Recently divorced and idle, Zeba felt the need to be empowered and empower others.
After the training, Zeba became a part of the Suraj Franchise providing quality FP services to her community. Before her, the community women had relied on local midwives to provide the services. However, their lack of knowledge, tools and infection protocol often caused discomfort to the clients. Now, seeing that Zeba is a qualified practitioner, women are more comfortable going to her for their FP consultations.
Zeba feels especially fulfilled when tells the story of a community woman, Yasmeen, who, like most families in the community is from an impoverished background. She and her three children are a burden for her husband who is a mere daily wage labourer. Due to the lack of information regarding FP, Yasmeen had little choice but to abort her frequent pregnancies. She was often ill and looked older than her 35 years. However, with Zeba’s counselling and assistance, Yasmeen decided to try the IUCD method and is now extremely happy and satisfied. She has retained her health and is able to help her husband by doing odd jobs. She also makes sure to spread awareness regarding FP services and Zeba’s quality centre around the community.
Packard Foundation highlighted the enhanced role of the service provider in the rural areas. The remote locations allow the provider to get to know the members of the community on a more personal level. This was seen as a starting point for her to be able to discuss social issues such as young age marriages and sending girls to schools with the women visiting her clinic to help trigger a larger change in social norms.