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Stories

Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
Story

In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.
Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 08 July 2019

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 27 May 2022

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 08 July 2019

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 27 May 2022

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Hasina, a sex worker and peer educator sits outside a brothel, India
story

| 22 November 2018

"Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person"

“Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person, but working as a peer educator has helped enabled me to help many like me.” Hasina is one of the estimated 1,500 sex workers living in Haunman Tekri, a red-light area in Bhiwandi, a town near Mumbai. When her husband passed away six years ago leaving behind a three-year-old daughter, Hasina turned to sex work as her only option to earn money. She admits that it came with a feeling of powerlessness. "You don't choose this trade; it is the result of life circumstances.” She works as a peer educator with PSK, one of the Family Planning Association of India's (FPAI) clinics. "Working with Parivar Swasthya Kedra (PSK), has made me feel less helpless; it's given me some control over my body; the ability to choose whether or not to bring another life into this world.” Building trust through education Hasina has been a peer educator for three years, working within the district to educate other women on safe sex, contraception, and abortion. Hasina admits she was once wary of PSK workers. "I used to think that these workers who insist we use condoms, would only sabotage my clientele. But soon I realized they were only looking out for us." When talking with local women, Hasina advocates the use of contraception but says in the case of an unintended pregnancy, abortion is a viable option. "It's easy to judge us, but many of us have no choice; we simply cannot feed another on just Rs. 400 a day."  Hasina is now the go-to woman in the district when it comes to sexual health. "Since I am one of them, the women trust me." This is the secret behind PSK success; a model where sex workers educate their peers, understanding the complexities and prejudices of their daily lives. "I hope one day I am able to put all of this behind me. But I hope that through PSK I am able to make another woman's life just a little bit safer, a little bit better." Do you want to show your support for women and girls to be free to decide what happens to their body? Pledge your voice to our I Decide campaign,IPPF’s movement for safe abortion access for all. You'll be provided with toolkits on how to talk about abortion and you'll have access to a range of content from personal testimonies to videos explaining the different types of abortion available.

Hasina, a sex worker and peer educator sits outside a brothel, India
story

| 27 May 2022

"Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person"

“Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person, but working as a peer educator has helped enabled me to help many like me.” Hasina is one of the estimated 1,500 sex workers living in Haunman Tekri, a red-light area in Bhiwandi, a town near Mumbai. When her husband passed away six years ago leaving behind a three-year-old daughter, Hasina turned to sex work as her only option to earn money. She admits that it came with a feeling of powerlessness. "You don't choose this trade; it is the result of life circumstances.” She works as a peer educator with PSK, one of the Family Planning Association of India's (FPAI) clinics. "Working with Parivar Swasthya Kedra (PSK), has made me feel less helpless; it's given me some control over my body; the ability to choose whether or not to bring another life into this world.” Building trust through education Hasina has been a peer educator for three years, working within the district to educate other women on safe sex, contraception, and abortion. Hasina admits she was once wary of PSK workers. "I used to think that these workers who insist we use condoms, would only sabotage my clientele. But soon I realized they were only looking out for us." When talking with local women, Hasina advocates the use of contraception but says in the case of an unintended pregnancy, abortion is a viable option. "It's easy to judge us, but many of us have no choice; we simply cannot feed another on just Rs. 400 a day."  Hasina is now the go-to woman in the district when it comes to sexual health. "Since I am one of them, the women trust me." This is the secret behind PSK success; a model where sex workers educate their peers, understanding the complexities and prejudices of their daily lives. "I hope one day I am able to put all of this behind me. But I hope that through PSK I am able to make another woman's life just a little bit safer, a little bit better." Do you want to show your support for women and girls to be free to decide what happens to their body? Pledge your voice to our I Decide campaign,IPPF’s movement for safe abortion access for all. You'll be provided with toolkits on how to talk about abortion and you'll have access to a range of content from personal testimonies to videos explaining the different types of abortion available.

Neelam Dixit is the branch manager of FPA India's GCACI clinic in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
story

| 22 November 2018

"Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions"

In the district of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the summer season has started and the heat in town is already extreme. Here, the Family Planning Association of India GCACI clinic serves many people living in poverty. In the ten years since the GCACI project started there, the clinic has provided 16,301 women with comprehensive abortion care and 202,758 women with contraceptive services. The two-storey clinic is situated in a residential area and, inside, women queue up to see the counsellors and medical staff. Many are accompanied by link workers who have travelled with them from outlying districts. Neelam Dixit is in charge of the branch. “Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions. By the time they visit our clinic, the woman is already a couple of months pregnant”. FPA India’s work is making an impact and Dixit is seeing views change on abortion. “There is a shift in attitude among women since FPAI started providing services. Presently, there is little stigma attached to abortion. Our aim is to provide quality health services at low cost. We create awareness about the consequences of unsafe abortion and train volunteers to be sure women in villages are aware of our clinic.” The clinic has served around 300,000 people from rural and semi-urban populations with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, and provides both first- and second-trimester abortion services.   

Neelam Dixit is the branch manager of FPA India's GCACI clinic in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
story

| 27 May 2022

"Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions"

In the district of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the summer season has started and the heat in town is already extreme. Here, the Family Planning Association of India GCACI clinic serves many people living in poverty. In the ten years since the GCACI project started there, the clinic has provided 16,301 women with comprehensive abortion care and 202,758 women with contraceptive services. The two-storey clinic is situated in a residential area and, inside, women queue up to see the counsellors and medical staff. Many are accompanied by link workers who have travelled with them from outlying districts. Neelam Dixit is in charge of the branch. “Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions. By the time they visit our clinic, the woman is already a couple of months pregnant”. FPA India’s work is making an impact and Dixit is seeing views change on abortion. “There is a shift in attitude among women since FPAI started providing services. Presently, there is little stigma attached to abortion. Our aim is to provide quality health services at low cost. We create awareness about the consequences of unsafe abortion and train volunteers to be sure women in villages are aware of our clinic.” The clinic has served around 300,000 people from rural and semi-urban populations with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, and provides both first- and second-trimester abortion services.   

Nurse
story

| 22 November 2018

In pictures: Expanding access to safe abortion in India

Konika* Mother of three, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Konika is 20 years old, and the mother of three girls. Like many local young women, she decided to have an abortion when she became pregnant for the fourth time within five years. Citing financial issues as the driving force behind her decision, despite her mother-in-laws desire for her to have another child, hoping this time it would be a boy. Through a neighbour, she approached the PSK clinic in Bhiwandi for an abortion. In Konika’s community, many young women are married and have kids by the time they are 20. Now with PSK, women like Konika have a choice to be pregnant or not. *Name has been changed Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Rehkha Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Family Planning Association of India, works with a network of volunteer link workers, who disseminate information about services available in the PSK clinic, make referrals, and often accompany women to the clinic for support. One of these link workers is Rehkha. Rekha says: "I have been involved with PSK for five years. And today I can proudly say that since the first awareness campaigns, there has been not a single death in the village due to an unsafe abortion." She adds: "These women are my flesh and blood. They know I only want the best for them… Within our communities we spread the message of safe sex and safe abortion through songs and skits which are easily understood. And I think the trick is to include mother-in-laws in our work. We have a high success rate in providing safe abortion care.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Shajahan Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Shajahan is a link worker in the nearby Muslim district, where women pack into a house in the narrow village lanes to wait to speak to her. She says: "I am a Muslim. In my community, abortion is frowned upon, and contraception is considered a sin. Initially, the women thought I was going against our customs, and the men thought I was a bad influence on their wives. Some of the men in our area even approached my husband and asked him to order me to stop these efforts." But her husband was supportive, telling other men that it was also their responsibility to be part of the process. It took several years, but eventually Shajahan won the trust of the women and men of her area. "Today, every woman in my area comes to me when it concerns matters of sexual health." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Gauri Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) staff Gauri has worked for FPAI for years and remembers hearing about the experiences of women who’d had unsafe abortions. "I had heard first-hand accounts of [unsafe] abortions that left women reeling in pain, suffering permanent infertility. I had also seen the grief in the faces of men whose wives died. So today when I see women leaving us, after an abortion, in perfect health, I feel like I've done something right with my life." Gauri continues: "My work may have started with one area, but I want to reach every corner of the country with FPAI - so that no woman in India becomes a statistic." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nisha Mother of two At 23, Nisha Boudh is already a mother to two children and severely anaemic. She feels she is in no position to have a third child, but her in-laws are not supportive. Nisha chose to have an abortion at FPAI’s Gwalior clinic. “I have been weak since childhood and, honestly, motherhood has taken a toll on my health. Doctors in other clinics were not willing help me and I would have died had FPAI not come to my rescue. With their doctors’ advice I have now decided to undergo an operation [tubal ligation] as I do not want to conceive. My mother-in-law was upset with my decision but I want to live to see my other children grow,” said Boudh. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Diti* Sex worker Diti is a sex worker living in Kolkata. She says she, "owes her life to PSK". Diti was forced into an early marriage when she was just 12 years old. "Before my body could even develop, my husband was forcing himself upon me." By the age of 20, Diti had five children. Struggling to cope at such an early age, and married to an abusive husband, Diti ran away. "I don't enjoy having sex with strangers, but I need the money." She makes 300 rupees a day ($4 USD). When Diti became pregnant she didn’t want to continue with the pregnancy. "There's no way I can feed a child. Besides, this is no place to bring a child into the world. Another sex worker recommended the PSK clinic.” Diti was worried about visiting the clinic, fearing stigma and discrimination from staff for working as a sex worker. Her experience was vastly different, finding the clinic team to be welcoming, reassuring and supportive. "They treated me like a human being." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mala Medical officer “The big problem in this part of India is early marriage and pregnancy. Both of which need to be handled very delicately,” says medical officer Mala Tiwari. “Slowly, things are changing as women are becoming aware of their rights. Previously when GCACI did not exist there was very little interaction with the link workers, and they [and the community] feared it was illegal to get an abortion. They did not know they did not need the consent of their husbands and in-laws. They now know, women have a right over their body.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Manju Mother of two, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Manju Rana was forced to marry at fifteen. “I have had two children in eight years of marriage,” she says. “My mother-in-law wanted me to keep having children. She does not understand I would not be able to give them a good education if I had more children. My husband is a driver and we cannot afford to have any more. When I learnt I was pregnant, without taking anyone’s permission, I went with the link worker of my area to the clinic and had an abortion.” Manju adds: “In these affordable clinics we can choose about pregnancy. They also made sure I was counselled, as coming to a decision about abortion is not easy.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Nurse
story

| 27 May 2022

In pictures: Expanding access to safe abortion in India

Konika* Mother of three, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Konika is 20 years old, and the mother of three girls. Like many local young women, she decided to have an abortion when she became pregnant for the fourth time within five years. Citing financial issues as the driving force behind her decision, despite her mother-in-laws desire for her to have another child, hoping this time it would be a boy. Through a neighbour, she approached the PSK clinic in Bhiwandi for an abortion. In Konika’s community, many young women are married and have kids by the time they are 20. Now with PSK, women like Konika have a choice to be pregnant or not. *Name has been changed Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Rehkha Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Family Planning Association of India, works with a network of volunteer link workers, who disseminate information about services available in the PSK clinic, make referrals, and often accompany women to the clinic for support. One of these link workers is Rehkha. Rekha says: "I have been involved with PSK for five years. And today I can proudly say that since the first awareness campaigns, there has been not a single death in the village due to an unsafe abortion." She adds: "These women are my flesh and blood. They know I only want the best for them… Within our communities we spread the message of safe sex and safe abortion through songs and skits which are easily understood. And I think the trick is to include mother-in-laws in our work. We have a high success rate in providing safe abortion care.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Shajahan Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Shajahan is a link worker in the nearby Muslim district, where women pack into a house in the narrow village lanes to wait to speak to her. She says: "I am a Muslim. In my community, abortion is frowned upon, and contraception is considered a sin. Initially, the women thought I was going against our customs, and the men thought I was a bad influence on their wives. Some of the men in our area even approached my husband and asked him to order me to stop these efforts." But her husband was supportive, telling other men that it was also their responsibility to be part of the process. It took several years, but eventually Shajahan won the trust of the women and men of her area. "Today, every woman in my area comes to me when it concerns matters of sexual health." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Gauri Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) staff Gauri has worked for FPAI for years and remembers hearing about the experiences of women who’d had unsafe abortions. "I had heard first-hand accounts of [unsafe] abortions that left women reeling in pain, suffering permanent infertility. I had also seen the grief in the faces of men whose wives died. So today when I see women leaving us, after an abortion, in perfect health, I feel like I've done something right with my life." Gauri continues: "My work may have started with one area, but I want to reach every corner of the country with FPAI - so that no woman in India becomes a statistic." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nisha Mother of two At 23, Nisha Boudh is already a mother to two children and severely anaemic. She feels she is in no position to have a third child, but her in-laws are not supportive. Nisha chose to have an abortion at FPAI’s Gwalior clinic. “I have been weak since childhood and, honestly, motherhood has taken a toll on my health. Doctors in other clinics were not willing help me and I would have died had FPAI not come to my rescue. With their doctors’ advice I have now decided to undergo an operation [tubal ligation] as I do not want to conceive. My mother-in-law was upset with my decision but I want to live to see my other children grow,” said Boudh. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Diti* Sex worker Diti is a sex worker living in Kolkata. She says she, "owes her life to PSK". Diti was forced into an early marriage when she was just 12 years old. "Before my body could even develop, my husband was forcing himself upon me." By the age of 20, Diti had five children. Struggling to cope at such an early age, and married to an abusive husband, Diti ran away. "I don't enjoy having sex with strangers, but I need the money." She makes 300 rupees a day ($4 USD). When Diti became pregnant she didn’t want to continue with the pregnancy. "There's no way I can feed a child. Besides, this is no place to bring a child into the world. Another sex worker recommended the PSK clinic.” Diti was worried about visiting the clinic, fearing stigma and discrimination from staff for working as a sex worker. Her experience was vastly different, finding the clinic team to be welcoming, reassuring and supportive. "They treated me like a human being." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mala Medical officer “The big problem in this part of India is early marriage and pregnancy. Both of which need to be handled very delicately,” says medical officer Mala Tiwari. “Slowly, things are changing as women are becoming aware of their rights. Previously when GCACI did not exist there was very little interaction with the link workers, and they [and the community] feared it was illegal to get an abortion. They did not know they did not need the consent of their husbands and in-laws. They now know, women have a right over their body.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Manju Mother of two, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Manju Rana was forced to marry at fifteen. “I have had two children in eight years of marriage,” she says. “My mother-in-law wanted me to keep having children. She does not understand I would not be able to give them a good education if I had more children. My husband is a driver and we cannot afford to have any more. When I learnt I was pregnant, without taking anyone’s permission, I went with the link worker of my area to the clinic and had an abortion.” Manju adds: “In these affordable clinics we can choose about pregnancy. They also made sure I was counselled, as coming to a decision about abortion is not easy.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin
story

| 08 February 2018

"...now I can provide MR (menstrual regulation) services efficiently."

Menstrual regulation, the method of establishing non-pregnancy for a woman at risk of unintended pregnancy, has been a part of Bangladesh’s family planning program since 1979. It is allowed up to 10 –12 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin is one of several staff members providing family planning, menstrual regulation, and post-procedure care services at Upzila Health Complex in Belkuchi, Bangladesh. “Before this training we used to sometimes advise people on such services and provided menstrual regulation (MR) services but after the training I’ve have become and confident and efficient in providing MR services,” she says. “Earlier there could possibly have been mistake but now I can provide MR services efficiently and perfectly. I can now provide MR services in more organized manner.” But while Yasmin, who has worked in family planning for 16 years, says that the recent training has increased her confidence in properly doing MR procedures, the health complex still lacks basic supplies. “There were difficulties due to limited equipment,” she says. “We sometimes have to use personal equipment.” But, she says, the presence of Kit 8 has made life easier. “Prior to this kit, many clients did not complete the full course of medical as advices due to financial issues… during floods there are many hardships including financial difficulty,” she says. “However with this kit, most of the medicines are provided and clients are easily managing on their own.”

Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin
story

| 27 May 2022

"...now I can provide MR (menstrual regulation) services efficiently."

Menstrual regulation, the method of establishing non-pregnancy for a woman at risk of unintended pregnancy, has been a part of Bangladesh’s family planning program since 1979. It is allowed up to 10 –12 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin is one of several staff members providing family planning, menstrual regulation, and post-procedure care services at Upzila Health Complex in Belkuchi, Bangladesh. “Before this training we used to sometimes advise people on such services and provided menstrual regulation (MR) services but after the training I’ve have become and confident and efficient in providing MR services,” she says. “Earlier there could possibly have been mistake but now I can provide MR services efficiently and perfectly. I can now provide MR services in more organized manner.” But while Yasmin, who has worked in family planning for 16 years, says that the recent training has increased her confidence in properly doing MR procedures, the health complex still lacks basic supplies. “There were difficulties due to limited equipment,” she says. “We sometimes have to use personal equipment.” But, she says, the presence of Kit 8 has made life easier. “Prior to this kit, many clients did not complete the full course of medical as advices due to financial issues… during floods there are many hardships including financial difficulty,” she says. “However with this kit, most of the medicines are provided and clients are easily managing on their own.”

Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 08 July 2019

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya
story

| 27 May 2022

"I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves"

“The first time I met Chariette [a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare] was at Sunday football, around four years ago. She was invited by the organizer to come and talk to us when the match was over. We were all men but she wasn’t intimidated and she handled the stupid jokes well.  We stayed in touch and then one day I realized I had an STI. It’s a little taboo and I didn’t want to talk about it. I bought some drugs at the local market but they didn’t have any effect. I called Chariette and we discussed what had happened. She told me to come to the CAMNAFAW clinic and I did, where I spoke about my problem and they gave me proper drugs to get rid of it. That day, I decided to become a peer educator myself. There are a lot of guys who are suffering but too scared to speak out. Above all, men are scared of talking about STIs.  I now work in schools and youth groups, especially sports teams. They will insist they don’t have anything wrong but every Sunday since then I have gone round the teams and chatted with them.  I speak about pregnancy as well. It’s the guys who push women to have sex without a condom and also to have an abortion afterwards. I help to raise awareness of why we have to protect ourselves. It’s hard to recruit people to become peer educators because we are volunteers. It’s not easy to persuade people to change their ways. The view from a lot of churches is very strict and centers on abstinence. The young men want to be macho.” Hervé Tchuigwa Djiya is a peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 08 July 2019

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Peer educator and English language student Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, at Mimboman clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
story

| 27 May 2022

"I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life"

“Chariette was my neighbor. We lived next door to each other. She often organized group information sessions in the neighbourhood to talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and early pregnancy, and unintended pregnancies as well.  When I started attending her sessions I was in a bit of unstable relationship. My life was chaotic. My boyfriend didn’t like using protection and we told each other that as we loved each other we weren’t taking any risks. Once I caught something and I was itching a lot. My boyfriend told me that I must have caught it in a public toilet. I trusted him and I didn’t realize I could catch something. When I started listening to Chariette it opened my eyes and I realized I was running big risks. As we aren’t married and we are still studying, we shouldn’t have an unintended pregnancy. What would we do? She told me about sexually transmitted infections as well. I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it but he didn’t want to hear about it, especially about using condoms. I asked for a private session with Chariette for him, and she spoke to us both and he finally understood. Today we have a much more stable sex life and we aren’t running those risks anymore. He learned how to use a condom. After attending her sessions, I was able to save a friend with Chariette’s help. This friend tried to perform an abortion herself and she was bleeding everywhere. I remembered that Chariette told me about the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare clinic, so I called her and asked how she could be admitted. She was able to receive post-abortion care but if I hadn’t known Chariette I don’t know what would have happened. I have brothers and I have helped them to change too. I’ve helped them to adopt a healthier sex life. There is HIV around and it’s scary.” Gertrude Zouakeu Noutcha, 29, is a student and peer educator for the Cameroon National Planning Association for Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW)

Hasina, a sex worker and peer educator sits outside a brothel, India
story

| 22 November 2018

"Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person"

“Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person, but working as a peer educator has helped enabled me to help many like me.” Hasina is one of the estimated 1,500 sex workers living in Haunman Tekri, a red-light area in Bhiwandi, a town near Mumbai. When her husband passed away six years ago leaving behind a three-year-old daughter, Hasina turned to sex work as her only option to earn money. She admits that it came with a feeling of powerlessness. "You don't choose this trade; it is the result of life circumstances.” She works as a peer educator with PSK, one of the Family Planning Association of India's (FPAI) clinics. "Working with Parivar Swasthya Kedra (PSK), has made me feel less helpless; it's given me some control over my body; the ability to choose whether or not to bring another life into this world.” Building trust through education Hasina has been a peer educator for three years, working within the district to educate other women on safe sex, contraception, and abortion. Hasina admits she was once wary of PSK workers. "I used to think that these workers who insist we use condoms, would only sabotage my clientele. But soon I realized they were only looking out for us." When talking with local women, Hasina advocates the use of contraception but says in the case of an unintended pregnancy, abortion is a viable option. "It's easy to judge us, but many of us have no choice; we simply cannot feed another on just Rs. 400 a day."  Hasina is now the go-to woman in the district when it comes to sexual health. "Since I am one of them, the women trust me." This is the secret behind PSK success; a model where sex workers educate their peers, understanding the complexities and prejudices of their daily lives. "I hope one day I am able to put all of this behind me. But I hope that through PSK I am able to make another woman's life just a little bit safer, a little bit better." Do you want to show your support for women and girls to be free to decide what happens to their body? Pledge your voice to our I Decide campaign,IPPF’s movement for safe abortion access for all. You'll be provided with toolkits on how to talk about abortion and you'll have access to a range of content from personal testimonies to videos explaining the different types of abortion available.

Hasina, a sex worker and peer educator sits outside a brothel, India
story

| 27 May 2022

"Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person"

“Selling my body doesn’t make me a bad person, but working as a peer educator has helped enabled me to help many like me.” Hasina is one of the estimated 1,500 sex workers living in Haunman Tekri, a red-light area in Bhiwandi, a town near Mumbai. When her husband passed away six years ago leaving behind a three-year-old daughter, Hasina turned to sex work as her only option to earn money. She admits that it came with a feeling of powerlessness. "You don't choose this trade; it is the result of life circumstances.” She works as a peer educator with PSK, one of the Family Planning Association of India's (FPAI) clinics. "Working with Parivar Swasthya Kedra (PSK), has made me feel less helpless; it's given me some control over my body; the ability to choose whether or not to bring another life into this world.” Building trust through education Hasina has been a peer educator for three years, working within the district to educate other women on safe sex, contraception, and abortion. Hasina admits she was once wary of PSK workers. "I used to think that these workers who insist we use condoms, would only sabotage my clientele. But soon I realized they were only looking out for us." When talking with local women, Hasina advocates the use of contraception but says in the case of an unintended pregnancy, abortion is a viable option. "It's easy to judge us, but many of us have no choice; we simply cannot feed another on just Rs. 400 a day."  Hasina is now the go-to woman in the district when it comes to sexual health. "Since I am one of them, the women trust me." This is the secret behind PSK success; a model where sex workers educate their peers, understanding the complexities and prejudices of their daily lives. "I hope one day I am able to put all of this behind me. But I hope that through PSK I am able to make another woman's life just a little bit safer, a little bit better." Do you want to show your support for women and girls to be free to decide what happens to their body? Pledge your voice to our I Decide campaign,IPPF’s movement for safe abortion access for all. You'll be provided with toolkits on how to talk about abortion and you'll have access to a range of content from personal testimonies to videos explaining the different types of abortion available.

Neelam Dixit is the branch manager of FPA India's GCACI clinic in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
story

| 22 November 2018

"Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions"

In the district of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the summer season has started and the heat in town is already extreme. Here, the Family Planning Association of India GCACI clinic serves many people living in poverty. In the ten years since the GCACI project started there, the clinic has provided 16,301 women with comprehensive abortion care and 202,758 women with contraceptive services. The two-storey clinic is situated in a residential area and, inside, women queue up to see the counsellors and medical staff. Many are accompanied by link workers who have travelled with them from outlying districts. Neelam Dixit is in charge of the branch. “Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions. By the time they visit our clinic, the woman is already a couple of months pregnant”. FPA India’s work is making an impact and Dixit is seeing views change on abortion. “There is a shift in attitude among women since FPAI started providing services. Presently, there is little stigma attached to abortion. Our aim is to provide quality health services at low cost. We create awareness about the consequences of unsafe abortion and train volunteers to be sure women in villages are aware of our clinic.” The clinic has served around 300,000 people from rural and semi-urban populations with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, and provides both first- and second-trimester abortion services.   

Neelam Dixit is the branch manager of FPA India's GCACI clinic in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
story

| 27 May 2022

"Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions"

In the district of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the summer season has started and the heat in town is already extreme. Here, the Family Planning Association of India GCACI clinic serves many people living in poverty. In the ten years since the GCACI project started there, the clinic has provided 16,301 women with comprehensive abortion care and 202,758 women with contraceptive services. The two-storey clinic is situated in a residential area and, inside, women queue up to see the counsellors and medical staff. Many are accompanied by link workers who have travelled with them from outlying districts. Neelam Dixit is in charge of the branch. “Most women are from marginalised sections of society and are denied the right to make their own decisions. By the time they visit our clinic, the woman is already a couple of months pregnant”. FPA India’s work is making an impact and Dixit is seeing views change on abortion. “There is a shift in attitude among women since FPAI started providing services. Presently, there is little stigma attached to abortion. Our aim is to provide quality health services at low cost. We create awareness about the consequences of unsafe abortion and train volunteers to be sure women in villages are aware of our clinic.” The clinic has served around 300,000 people from rural and semi-urban populations with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, and provides both first- and second-trimester abortion services.   

Nurse
story

| 22 November 2018

In pictures: Expanding access to safe abortion in India

Konika* Mother of three, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Konika is 20 years old, and the mother of three girls. Like many local young women, she decided to have an abortion when she became pregnant for the fourth time within five years. Citing financial issues as the driving force behind her decision, despite her mother-in-laws desire for her to have another child, hoping this time it would be a boy. Through a neighbour, she approached the PSK clinic in Bhiwandi for an abortion. In Konika’s community, many young women are married and have kids by the time they are 20. Now with PSK, women like Konika have a choice to be pregnant or not. *Name has been changed Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Rehkha Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Family Planning Association of India, works with a network of volunteer link workers, who disseminate information about services available in the PSK clinic, make referrals, and often accompany women to the clinic for support. One of these link workers is Rehkha. Rekha says: "I have been involved with PSK for five years. And today I can proudly say that since the first awareness campaigns, there has been not a single death in the village due to an unsafe abortion." She adds: "These women are my flesh and blood. They know I only want the best for them… Within our communities we spread the message of safe sex and safe abortion through songs and skits which are easily understood. And I think the trick is to include mother-in-laws in our work. We have a high success rate in providing safe abortion care.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Shajahan Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Shajahan is a link worker in the nearby Muslim district, where women pack into a house in the narrow village lanes to wait to speak to her. She says: "I am a Muslim. In my community, abortion is frowned upon, and contraception is considered a sin. Initially, the women thought I was going against our customs, and the men thought I was a bad influence on their wives. Some of the men in our area even approached my husband and asked him to order me to stop these efforts." But her husband was supportive, telling other men that it was also their responsibility to be part of the process. It took several years, but eventually Shajahan won the trust of the women and men of her area. "Today, every woman in my area comes to me when it concerns matters of sexual health." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Gauri Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) staff Gauri has worked for FPAI for years and remembers hearing about the experiences of women who’d had unsafe abortions. "I had heard first-hand accounts of [unsafe] abortions that left women reeling in pain, suffering permanent infertility. I had also seen the grief in the faces of men whose wives died. So today when I see women leaving us, after an abortion, in perfect health, I feel like I've done something right with my life." Gauri continues: "My work may have started with one area, but I want to reach every corner of the country with FPAI - so that no woman in India becomes a statistic." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nisha Mother of two At 23, Nisha Boudh is already a mother to two children and severely anaemic. She feels she is in no position to have a third child, but her in-laws are not supportive. Nisha chose to have an abortion at FPAI’s Gwalior clinic. “I have been weak since childhood and, honestly, motherhood has taken a toll on my health. Doctors in other clinics were not willing help me and I would have died had FPAI not come to my rescue. With their doctors’ advice I have now decided to undergo an operation [tubal ligation] as I do not want to conceive. My mother-in-law was upset with my decision but I want to live to see my other children grow,” said Boudh. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Diti* Sex worker Diti is a sex worker living in Kolkata. She says she, "owes her life to PSK". Diti was forced into an early marriage when she was just 12 years old. "Before my body could even develop, my husband was forcing himself upon me." By the age of 20, Diti had five children. Struggling to cope at such an early age, and married to an abusive husband, Diti ran away. "I don't enjoy having sex with strangers, but I need the money." She makes 300 rupees a day ($4 USD). When Diti became pregnant she didn’t want to continue with the pregnancy. "There's no way I can feed a child. Besides, this is no place to bring a child into the world. Another sex worker recommended the PSK clinic.” Diti was worried about visiting the clinic, fearing stigma and discrimination from staff for working as a sex worker. Her experience was vastly different, finding the clinic team to be welcoming, reassuring and supportive. "They treated me like a human being." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mala Medical officer “The big problem in this part of India is early marriage and pregnancy. Both of which need to be handled very delicately,” says medical officer Mala Tiwari. “Slowly, things are changing as women are becoming aware of their rights. Previously when GCACI did not exist there was very little interaction with the link workers, and they [and the community] feared it was illegal to get an abortion. They did not know they did not need the consent of their husbands and in-laws. They now know, women have a right over their body.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Manju Mother of two, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Manju Rana was forced to marry at fifteen. “I have had two children in eight years of marriage,” she says. “My mother-in-law wanted me to keep having children. She does not understand I would not be able to give them a good education if I had more children. My husband is a driver and we cannot afford to have any more. When I learnt I was pregnant, without taking anyone’s permission, I went with the link worker of my area to the clinic and had an abortion.” Manju adds: “In these affordable clinics we can choose about pregnancy. They also made sure I was counselled, as coming to a decision about abortion is not easy.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Nurse
story

| 27 May 2022

In pictures: Expanding access to safe abortion in India

Konika* Mother of three, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Konika is 20 years old, and the mother of three girls. Like many local young women, she decided to have an abortion when she became pregnant for the fourth time within five years. Citing financial issues as the driving force behind her decision, despite her mother-in-laws desire for her to have another child, hoping this time it would be a boy. Through a neighbour, she approached the PSK clinic in Bhiwandi for an abortion. In Konika’s community, many young women are married and have kids by the time they are 20. Now with PSK, women like Konika have a choice to be pregnant or not. *Name has been changed Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Rehkha Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Family Planning Association of India, works with a network of volunteer link workers, who disseminate information about services available in the PSK clinic, make referrals, and often accompany women to the clinic for support. One of these link workers is Rehkha. Rekha says: "I have been involved with PSK for five years. And today I can proudly say that since the first awareness campaigns, there has been not a single death in the village due to an unsafe abortion." She adds: "These women are my flesh and blood. They know I only want the best for them… Within our communities we spread the message of safe sex and safe abortion through songs and skits which are easily understood. And I think the trick is to include mother-in-laws in our work. We have a high success rate in providing safe abortion care.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Shajahan Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) link worker Shajahan is a link worker in the nearby Muslim district, where women pack into a house in the narrow village lanes to wait to speak to her. She says: "I am a Muslim. In my community, abortion is frowned upon, and contraception is considered a sin. Initially, the women thought I was going against our customs, and the men thought I was a bad influence on their wives. Some of the men in our area even approached my husband and asked him to order me to stop these efforts." But her husband was supportive, telling other men that it was also their responsibility to be part of the process. It took several years, but eventually Shajahan won the trust of the women and men of her area. "Today, every woman in my area comes to me when it concerns matters of sexual health." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Gauri Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) staff Gauri has worked for FPAI for years and remembers hearing about the experiences of women who’d had unsafe abortions. "I had heard first-hand accounts of [unsafe] abortions that left women reeling in pain, suffering permanent infertility. I had also seen the grief in the faces of men whose wives died. So today when I see women leaving us, after an abortion, in perfect health, I feel like I've done something right with my life." Gauri continues: "My work may have started with one area, but I want to reach every corner of the country with FPAI - so that no woman in India becomes a statistic." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Nisha Mother of two At 23, Nisha Boudh is already a mother to two children and severely anaemic. She feels she is in no position to have a third child, but her in-laws are not supportive. Nisha chose to have an abortion at FPAI’s Gwalior clinic. “I have been weak since childhood and, honestly, motherhood has taken a toll on my health. Doctors in other clinics were not willing help me and I would have died had FPAI not come to my rescue. With their doctors’ advice I have now decided to undergo an operation [tubal ligation] as I do not want to conceive. My mother-in-law was upset with my decision but I want to live to see my other children grow,” said Boudh. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Diti* Sex worker Diti is a sex worker living in Kolkata. She says she, "owes her life to PSK". Diti was forced into an early marriage when she was just 12 years old. "Before my body could even develop, my husband was forcing himself upon me." By the age of 20, Diti had five children. Struggling to cope at such an early age, and married to an abusive husband, Diti ran away. "I don't enjoy having sex with strangers, but I need the money." She makes 300 rupees a day ($4 USD). When Diti became pregnant she didn’t want to continue with the pregnancy. "There's no way I can feed a child. Besides, this is no place to bring a child into the world. Another sex worker recommended the PSK clinic.” Diti was worried about visiting the clinic, fearing stigma and discrimination from staff for working as a sex worker. Her experience was vastly different, finding the clinic team to be welcoming, reassuring and supportive. "They treated me like a human being." Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mala Medical officer “The big problem in this part of India is early marriage and pregnancy. Both of which need to be handled very delicately,” says medical officer Mala Tiwari. “Slowly, things are changing as women are becoming aware of their rights. Previously when GCACI did not exist there was very little interaction with the link workers, and they [and the community] feared it was illegal to get an abortion. They did not know they did not need the consent of their husbands and in-laws. They now know, women have a right over their body.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Manju Mother of two, Parivar Swasthya Kendra (PSK) client Manju Rana was forced to marry at fifteen. “I have had two children in eight years of marriage,” she says. “My mother-in-law wanted me to keep having children. She does not understand I would not be able to give them a good education if I had more children. My husband is a driver and we cannot afford to have any more. When I learnt I was pregnant, without taking anyone’s permission, I went with the link worker of my area to the clinic and had an abortion.” Manju adds: “In these affordable clinics we can choose about pregnancy. They also made sure I was counselled, as coming to a decision about abortion is not easy.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin
story

| 08 February 2018

"...now I can provide MR (menstrual regulation) services efficiently."

Menstrual regulation, the method of establishing non-pregnancy for a woman at risk of unintended pregnancy, has been a part of Bangladesh’s family planning program since 1979. It is allowed up to 10 –12 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin is one of several staff members providing family planning, menstrual regulation, and post-procedure care services at Upzila Health Complex in Belkuchi, Bangladesh. “Before this training we used to sometimes advise people on such services and provided menstrual regulation (MR) services but after the training I’ve have become and confident and efficient in providing MR services,” she says. “Earlier there could possibly have been mistake but now I can provide MR services efficiently and perfectly. I can now provide MR services in more organized manner.” But while Yasmin, who has worked in family planning for 16 years, says that the recent training has increased her confidence in properly doing MR procedures, the health complex still lacks basic supplies. “There were difficulties due to limited equipment,” she says. “We sometimes have to use personal equipment.” But, she says, the presence of Kit 8 has made life easier. “Prior to this kit, many clients did not complete the full course of medical as advices due to financial issues… during floods there are many hardships including financial difficulty,” she says. “However with this kit, most of the medicines are provided and clients are easily managing on their own.”

Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin
story

| 27 May 2022

"...now I can provide MR (menstrual regulation) services efficiently."

Menstrual regulation, the method of establishing non-pregnancy for a woman at risk of unintended pregnancy, has been a part of Bangladesh’s family planning program since 1979. It is allowed up to 10 –12 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. Nursing Supervisor Ms. Lovely Yasmin is one of several staff members providing family planning, menstrual regulation, and post-procedure care services at Upzila Health Complex in Belkuchi, Bangladesh. “Before this training we used to sometimes advise people on such services and provided menstrual regulation (MR) services but after the training I’ve have become and confident and efficient in providing MR services,” she says. “Earlier there could possibly have been mistake but now I can provide MR services efficiently and perfectly. I can now provide MR services in more organized manner.” But while Yasmin, who has worked in family planning for 16 years, says that the recent training has increased her confidence in properly doing MR procedures, the health complex still lacks basic supplies. “There were difficulties due to limited equipment,” she says. “We sometimes have to use personal equipment.” But, she says, the presence of Kit 8 has made life easier. “Prior to this kit, many clients did not complete the full course of medical as advices due to financial issues… during floods there are many hardships including financial difficulty,” she says. “However with this kit, most of the medicines are provided and clients are easily managing on their own.”