World Contraception Day celebrated @ Spilhaus clinic
The World Contraception Day (WCD) is commemorated globally on the 26th of September. This year, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) celebrated the day through an all day long information exhibition and offered free Family Planning (FP) and related Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services at Spilhaus clinic.
By Donald Dube (MCO)
Several health institutions exhibited and interacted with clients. Dance, drama and quiz competitions kept audience entertained with free promotional giveaways distributed. Extensive media publicity through radio, print and social media ensured that messages reached millions of people countrywide and beyond.
WCD is a global campaign with a vision to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted. Its mission is to improve awareness of contraception with more emphasis on enabling young people to make informed decisions on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The campaign was launched in 2007 by the European Society of Contraception (ESC) with the major concern focusing on the fact that a majority of teenage pregnancies were unplanned and every year people get infected with Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) due to inadequate information on how to protect themselves. The event held annually on the 26th September, ran under the umbrella theme, Contraception; ‘It’s your life; it’s your responsibility’.
The celebrations were performed through an exhibition campaign accompanied by a musical entertainment, dance and quiz reaching out to many people including staff members and the general public. Bringing the celebrations back home enhanced ZNFPC brand visibility and promoted Spilhaus clinic as a centre of excellence in integrated family planning services.
Extensive media publicity awareness initiatives were undertaken during the WCD celebrations. Fliers published online generated awareness and created demand. Posters were placed on high traffic areas to inform people to access free services on the day. Social media engagements hyped the activity as clients inquired more about free service provision.
Several health stakeholders attended the world contraception day and offered health information. Among others were Population Services Zimbabwe (PSZ), Adult Rape Clinic (ARC), SAYWHAT, Condomize Campaign and Grassroot Soccer. These organizations articulated issues on sexual gender based violence, teenage pregnancies, child marriages, rape and abortion. ZNFPC provided information on FP methods including oral contraceptives and injectable, LARCS and permanent methods. To enhance integration of services, information on reproductive health cancers, HIV Testing services and condom use and disposal were disseminated. Information on fertility services and Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) was accessible.
Entertainment was provided by a public address system provided through a PSZ roadshow van that played popular sing along songs to mobilize and gather crowds of people. Patsime Edutainment Trust an organization that provides theatre services, performed dance and dramas on sexual reproductive health. Quiz competitions were undertaken with free giveaways such as branded T-shirts, rulers and pens being distributed. Audiences were asked questions on family planning and sexual reproductive health and rights to assess their comprehension to information disseminated. Photography and video shooting of the event was packaged for documentation of the celebrations. ZNFPC staff members converged at Spilhaus clinic to enjoy the day through dance and fanfare.
ZNFPC offered free clinical services to over 200 clients. Cervical cancer screening through Pap-smear, counseling and provision of oral contraceptives and injectable were offered for free. In addition HIV testing services were performed. The organization offered free insertions and removals of Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) and Implants including Jadelle. Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision and fertility services were available. Male and Female condoms were distributed as well.
The World Contraception Day provided fanfare and joy for staff and the general public. Free service provision increased the reach and access to services for a lot of people. Media publicity enhanced awareness and created demand for family planning and sexual reproductive health information and services. Appreciation is extended to organizations that exhibited at Spilhaus clinic. The commemoration generated a platform to dance and win prizes as organizations joined the rest of the world in celebrating a day that recognizes contraception use, accessibility, availability and utilization.