TCI participates in the Lisabi festival in Ogun State.

The Lisabi Festival is one of the most celebrated and well-attended festivals in Ogun State, Nigeria. It is held in remembrance of Lisabi, a warrior who rescued the Egba people from oppression in the 18th century. The Challenge Initiative’s family planning social and behavior change communication (SBCC) committee in Ogun State celebrated with the Egba people at this year’s Lisabi Festival (Feb. 26 – Mar. 4, 2018), where the committee:

  • Disseminated family planning information via flyers and other materials
  • Educated and counseled men and women on family planning
  • Mobilized men and women to get family planning services

The SBCC committee held its activities Feb. 26-27, 2018, at the King’s Palace, where it encouraged open discussions among participants and promoted long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) for first-time users. LARC demand was much higher than the supply, however, indicating an unmet need within the Ogun community. The one trained provider also had trouble keeping up with demand but a committee member, Dr. Joy Akinsanya, volunteered to help her provide service.

“The involvement of family planning activities in this year’s festival makes it unique and laudable! This is how to reach people better and not just stay in the hospitals – many families need to know the importance of limiting the family. Unfortunately, the poor people are the ones giving birth to more children and this is constituting problems for the society… Thank you to Ogun state for doing this!”      – Male Participant at Lisabi Festival

Distributing family planning materials at the festival booth.

The activity reached more than 200 men and women over the two days. Social mobilization activities on the first day included dancing to local community and family planning songs, sharing flyers and holding counseling sessions. Day two featured an exhibition, more counseling sessions and provision of family planning services at the Royal Health Post, a facility within the palace.

About 15 men requested and received counseling sessions on family planning methods and side effects  while eight women requested and received contraceptive implants after counseling. Other women requested and received counseling on such topics as modern methods, where to access services, the cost of services and importantly side effects. Myths and misconceptions about family planning were clarified, including infertility, methods available to men other than condoms or vasectomy, excessive bleeding while using a LARC and decreased libido.