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Project News Updates/Highlights for 7th and 8th Quarters

Capacity Building and Networking Leading to adoption of Healthy Timing, Spacing of Pregnancies (HTSP)

Based in the Khanwan area of Nausheroferoze district (Sindh), Daduli is one of the 10 service providers that are a part of Marie Stopes Society’s (MSS) Suraj Social Franchise. The initiative is part of the project *‘Evidence for Innovating to Save Lives’ supported by Research and Advocacy (RAF).

Well-equipped and trained, Daduli, today, is proud of her contribution to the community as an FP service provider. She narrates: “Before my association with MSS, there were hardly any FP service providers in the Khanwan, whereas need for family planning was huge. Majority of the community women have large families and wanted reliable short and long-term Infection free (IP) FP services. With the assistance of the Suraj franchising model I began to provide these services and once people started seeing results, the word spread and more people came to my clinic.” .” The MSS Suraj Social Franchise intervention has enabled Daduli to provide comprehensive Family Planning (FP) services to the people in her community. Daduli was imparted training on Infection Prevention (IP), provision of both short term and long term contraceptive method services (IUD insertion and removal), client counseling and business management, to efficiently run her service facility – as part of the Suraj Social Franchise initiative. Daduli was accredited as a Suraj Social Franchise provider, after a third party consultant (medical doctor) evaluation. Suraj also facilitated Daduli with IUD insertion and removal kits. Moreover, her clinic facility was branded as a Suraj facility!

Provided by a Female Community Mobilizer (FCM) to assist her in giving FP services by doing door to door visits in the community, Daduli stresses the help that she received, “Ours is a closed and conservative community, and although I am providing quality services and I work hard to adhere to MSS Infection Prevention protocols taught to me, community women would have been hesitant to come to my clinic if the FCM did not support me in reaching out.”

“Since people in the area have little education and less exposure to the outside world, they view any innovation with suspicion. I was able to talk to women with empathy and sensitivity in understanding and addressing their fears of contraceptives. I have learnt the importance of providing complete information on the options available to women in FP methods and supporting them to make a voluntary and well informed choice with full back up support. My counseling and technical skills have allowed me to help meet the birth spacing needs of so many of couples in my community. I am proud to be part of the Suraj Network!”

Disclaimer:
This document is an output from a project funded by the UK department for International Development (DFID) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for the benefit of developing countries. The views expressed are not necessarily those of DFID/AusAID.

We matter: Community Midwives

Sanam Ameen is a Community Midwife (CMW) at Chak129 of district Pakpattan, Punjab. She has been recruited as a Family Planning (FP) service provider for the ‘Evidence for innovating to save lives’ implemented by MSS and sponsored by RAF. Prior to joining this project, Sanam was a government employee and had been working as a Community Midwife (CMW) for more than two years.

Under the project’s umbrella, a series of one-day training sessions are held every quarter in Pakpattan district. Actively participated by the CMWs and their field workers, these ‘Sensitization’ series aim to update the community midwives on the latest techniques to help them carry out their duties more efficiently. Conducted by the MSS support and regional office trainers, these sessions also recap the project’s aims, objectives and acknowledge the efforts of FP providers.

Sanam finds the Sensitization sessions interesting and inspiring. “Sensitization sessions are very motivating. The training and updates I receive enhance my knowledge and hone my skills. The friendly environment encourages us to express our opinions and voice our concerns without any hesitation. Another highlight of this session is the acknowledgement we receive from the project team. The teams regularly discuss with us the issues that take place due to lack of family planning and spacing of pregnancies. They also highlight the benefits our services are providing to the country in general and to our communities in particular. These sessions renew our passion and commitment for our work and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that at the end of the day our contributions make a difference in people’s lives.”

Disclaimer:
This document is an output from a project funded by the UK department for International Development (DFID) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for the benefit of developing countries. The views expressed are not necessarily those of DFID/AusAID.

Ahmed Bashir: A Community champion for family planning (FP) advocacy

A resident of Arifwala village, district Pakpattan and a trader by profession; Ahmed Bashir himself practices FP and champions its advocacy throughout his village. He has regularly attended all 7 quarterly meetings of CSG.

CSG is an interactive dialogue session initiative of the ‘Evidence for innovating to save lives’ project in its intervention districts. This project is being implemented by MSS and supported by RAF consortium and is an operative research study on the concept of HTSP.
CSG’s objective is to engage male community stakeholders/gatekeepers (people of prominent influence and who have frequent interaction with the community like merchants, politicians, school teachers and shopkeepers, etc.) to make them the campaigners/endorsers of modern FP services being offered by the project’s providers. CSGs meetings are conducted with the help of the project’s Male Community Mobilizer (MCM), who utilizes his strong community network to engage prominent male community members.

Bashir has two children, and a total family of six members to support. He fondly recalls his initial CSG meeting which led him to become a FP adopter as well as an advocate of HTSP. “My journey from being someone who was unaware to a FP adopter and then to an advocate has been a result of these meetings. Previously I had very little knowledge regarding FP methods and HTSP; there hadn’t any activities that were designed to provide us- the male community members- with FP education/awareness. Additionally no effort had been made to highlight the contribution our endorsement could make for the betterment of mother and child health in our communities.”

He further elaborated, “After attending first CSG meeting and hearing Rasheed (MCM) speak about HTSP and the different FP methods, I understood the problems associated with unplanned births for our communities and the country in general.

The CSG message was simple, clear and in a language that we could understand. For the first time, I along with my fellow CSG members fully comprehended our influential positions within the community and ways in which we could advocate for healthier choices and adoption of HTSP.

Our village has many families who have a large number of children and have little or no prior knowledge of FP services/HTSP. These unplanned births have resulted in children not getting adequate care from their families. As an FP advocate, I have met many people (relatives, friends, co-workers) sharing with them my newly acquired information and knowledge on HTSP for the better health of their families. I consider FP/HTSP a great service for my community and I am proud of my contribution in raising its awareness.”

Disclaimer:
This document is an output from a project funded by the UK department for International Development (DFID) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for the benefit of developing countries. The views expressed are not necessarily those of DFID/AusAID.