by Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe, senior correspondent, The Punch, Lagos, Nigeria and member of PRB’s Women’s Edition
The Women’s Edition training continued on Thursday with a field to a Marie Stopes centre in a Nairobian slum called Kanyemi. There are about 27 Marie Stopes centres throughout Kenya. Though small, the Kayemi centre is already making its presence known in the neighbourhood with the comprehensive reproductive services it offers which includes different family planning methods, pap smear, Voluntary Counselling and testing (VCT), and a host of others. A one-stop reproductive health shop, you might say.
Records from the staff showed that Kenyan women and men are beginning to make the most profitable journey toward that point where they take their sexual and reproductive health seriously; about 15 women have come for tubal litigation in the centre this April and the month isn’t over yet!
The afternoon saw the group back at Fairview hotel where Family Planning in the Africa was analysed using SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The general feeling was that where there is political will and government commitment in any country, many more people whether rich or poor would be able to access family planning services. While realising that there are indeed real threats to effective family planning programs, there is also the need to grab with both hands opportunities (wherever they are found) that could bring more positive results. Everyone seems to be on the same page here.
The day ended with a dinner at the Carnivore. Did you say the Carnivore? Yes, the Carnivore and it was quite an experience. The most daring of the pack even got and actually ate crocodile meat and some Kenyan native dance steps. It was fun, fun fun!