Zimbabwe celebrates World Contraception Day
The World Contraception Day (WCD) is commemorated globally on the 26th September. This year, the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) in collaboration with health sector stakeholders celebrated the day through a two day long information exhibition and offered free Family Planning (FP) and related Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services at Spilhaus clinic. The commemoration ran under the umbrella theme for this and future years, Contraception; ‘It’s your life; it’s your responsibility’.
By Donald Dube (ZNFPC)
Observing COVID-19 protocols of mask-up. Sanitize and social distance, dance 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. The 2021 WCD celebrations were undertaken nationally with provinces participating in free clinical service delivery. The national exhibitions were held at ZNFPC Spilhaus clinic on the 30th September and 1st October.
The National Family Planning Brand Ambassador, Mrs Adiona Chidzonga graced the occasion and interacted with clients distributing free giveaways through quiz competitions, photo and video sessions as well as information dissemination, thereby enhancing brand visibility.
Extensive media publicity awareness initiatives were undertaken during the WCD celebrations. A full page newspaper article was published in the Sunday Mail newspaper reaching multitudes of people. Zimbabwe Television Network (ZTN) and Health Times, interviewed the Director Technical Service, the Medical Officer and the Brand Ambassador. ZNFPC website and social media platforms disseminated information on contraception.
Below are links to the articles published to celebrate WCD;
Several health stakeholders attended the exhibition and offered health services. Among others were Population Services Zimbabwe (PSZ), Restless Development, Kunashe Foundation, Cycle Health Zimbabwe, For-Youth-by-Youth and Population Services International (PSI). These organizations articulated issues on contraception, sexual gender based violence, teenage pregnancies, child marriages, drug and substance abuse, rape and abortion. Cycle Health Zimbabwe (CHEZI) an organization majoring in reusable sanitary wear demonstrated the sanitary pad making process through sewing, much to the delight of many clients.
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. The roadshow van patrolled the nearby Southerton residential area informing the public to visit Spilhaus clinic to access family planning services. Quiz competitions were undertaken with free giveaways consisting of 20 branded golf t-shirts, 50 rulers and 100 pens being distributed.
ZNFPC offered free contraceptive services to over 400 clients, mostly adult females. At least 200 clients received three cycles each of Combined Oral Contraceptive pills, with 75 women receiving the Progestogen-Only Pill (POP). Limited numbers requested and received Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) as many women articulated that they preferred oral contraceptives. The organization provided cervical cancer screening services. In addition HIV self-test kits and counselling were provided to clients while male and female condoms were distributed.
The World Contraception Day celebrations 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. Much appreciation is extended to organizations that exhibited at Spilhaus clinic to commemorate the day.