Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Condom Demonstrations Attract Attention

by AnQuavis Simpson, Cally Braun, Wagaba Brenda, Arinaitwe Emmanuel, Emily Leibo, Christie Tzelios, and Bamwoze Christine

Irenzi interns demonstrating the proper use of a
female condom.
This was a big day for the interns in Irenzi. A few days before the family planning day, Irenzi interns started mobilizing by placing posters throughout the village and verbally inviting people to attend the event at the local trading center.

The day began with mobilization by biking through the village. While mobilizing, Emmanuel met a group of around 10 men in the trading center. These men had eager questions about family planning, so Emmanuel tried to answer some and promised to answer others when they come for the sensitization.

Around 40 women attended the event and the intern team presented their skit which included information about family planning methods and sexually transmitted diseases in addition to discussions with Loy and the Nurse David who answered questions and taught the women about obstetric fistula and cervical cancer.

Although the women were engaging in the sensitization, the men had not shown up, so the interns decided to collect them from the nearby shops and places that they normally gather to spend their leisure time playing games. As these interns were mobilizing, they realized that the men were still resistant and because they thought family planning sessions were only for women. 

If the men wouldn’t come to the sensitization, how could the interns bring the information directly to them in their game-playing environment? The interns quickly brainstormed and decided to request to have the sensitization between two tables of Ludo. Most of men accepted and a few refused but they decided to follow majority vote.

Similar to the sensitization provided for the women, the interns talked about sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive options, and demonstrated condom use. The men were more interested in seeing how a female condom is correctly used, so the interns started with that. Slowly, the demonstrations attracted more men from the trading center. They also educated why men should be involved in family planning and later men appreciated the interns’ efforts.

Interns conducting a soccer match to engage adolescents in a discussion about reproductive health. 

After all the educational sessions, participants were invited to see Nurse David for contraceptive services and cervical cancer screening. As women went for the above services, some interns were giving out free condoms. It was a successful day that the Irenzi team is proud to remember.

To learn more about how we implement reproductive health programming in our communities, visit our website.

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