Before The Challenge Initiative (TCI) engaged Osun State in July 2022, family planning awareness, knowledge, acceptance, and access was weak among men and women of reproductive age who visited health facilities. In addition to that, health care providers in those facilities were not trained in family planning (FP) and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) service provision, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). This contributed to low family planning service uptake in the community.
With these issues identified, TCI supported the state in training community mobilizers on family planning mobilization, as well as service providers in facilities across the state in FP/AYSRH. These trainings contributed to an increase in the number of health care workers.
Mrs. Ibironke Ilufuoye serves as the Reproductive Health Coordinator for Odo Otin local government area (LGA) in Osun State, Nigeria, and the Chief Nursing Officer for the Okuku 1 Primary Health Centre. After the training, she noted improvements in family planning uptake in her community, stating:
My community members are now mobilizing their own people for family planning service uptake and it has positively affected and changed the mindset of people in the community as more people are taking up various family planning methods. This is something that has not happened before in my community and I am an indigene of this community, Okuku.”
TCI was intentional about stimulating access to high-quality family planning services through the implementation and scale up of high-impact practices and other interventions. According to Ilufuoye:
I have witnessed a significant increase in the number of women who visit my facility with GO cards (referrals) for FP service uptake from August 2022. I inquired from other health facilities in Odo Otin LGA, and I discovered that there has also been a surge in the number of women of reproductive age visiting other facilities in the community to access FP services. The awareness created is huge as more and more people are accepting and accessing family planning.”
The following chart shows a 13% improvement in the number of FP acceptors when comparing the first half of 2022 – prior to TCI engagement – with the second half of the year.
I would like to thank TCI for the idea of using community members as social mobilizers of their own communities as this has made family planning messages easier to accept and the trained service providers are performing better at their jobs and our facilities in Odo Otin LGA are now more youth friendly. It’s significant because more families are in harmony and there are less unintended pregnancies.”