Family planning training – Allowing the couple to decide
SHOPS Plus is working in Federal Capital Territory and Plateau State to enhance the existing family planning provider training and supervision systems to improve and maintain provider clinical skills and attitudes in Nigeria.
The project is conducting trainings that equip providers with the skills to deliver high quality family planning services in a manner that promotes client choice and empowerment.
SHOPS Plus recently concluded a training session at the School of Nursing in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory. Twenty-five community health extension workers and two local government area family planning coordinators attended the session. The first week of the training focused on instruction using an adult participatory style of teaching and enhanced family planning curriculum including gender dynamic and provider bias activities while the second week was a hands-on practicum located at a health facility nearby.
The course provided an overview on the full range of family planning services, including long-acting reversible contraception methods. By including activities, case studies, and discussion, the course aimed to address participants’ gaps in family planning knowledge, provider bias, and gender dynamics.
In their own words, two participants explain what they found most valuable from the training.
Rakiya Isah is a 30-year-old community health extension worker in Peyti, where she sees three to five clients a day, the majority of whom are subsistent farmers. Isah participated in the training in the Federal Capital Territory where she learned more about family planning and contraceptive methods, for example the use of IUD and oral contraceptive pills.
“One of the strong benefits of family planning in my community is to help couples enjoy their marriage,” she reflected. “Women and men should be given equal opportunities because cultural, religious, and socioeconomic factors and barriers make women unable to make proper decisions on family planning. I will make sure that there is no gender bias when making choices.”
Pada Gwa has been a community health extension worker for eight years in Pai. The 50-year-old currently sees two to three clients a day for family planning services. He attended the training in the Federal Capital Territory and plans to apply the things he learned to his work at the clinic. One lesson that stood out for him regarding family planning for women was the importance of health workers being informed when counseling patients to overcome bias.
“Don’t choose for a lady or a couple which family planning method to use, you allow them [to] make the decision,’’ he said following the training.