Contraception, Family Planning, and Maternal Health
Spotlight #3: Contraception & Family Planning (University of Michigan, Uganda Christian University)
Hello friends of ETH, Following spotlights of work completed this past summer by our helminthic infections and mental health teams, today we would like to highlight the work of- last but certainly not least- our contraception & family planning team! Consisting of Stephanie Johnson, Chloe Cyr, Lindsey Skole, and Morgan Taylor of University of Michigan, as well as Bwamiki Johnson and Isabella Kiden of Uganda Christian University, the team's project work consisted of first assessing the state of contraceptive use and villagers’ surrounding perceptions. Next, fellows aimed to address sexual health topics on which they felt residents' understanding was lacking. Working with village health teams (VHTs) in 6 different villages (10 surveys per village), fellows conducted 60 KAP surveys regarding contraception and family planning methods. Additionally, 4 gender-specific focus group discussions were held to ascertain how men and women approach family planning differently. Perspectives given through both surveys and focus groups helped fellows to understand the social barriers to contraceptive use in each community. In an effort to begin promoting more informed decision making on family planning, contraception team fellows also held educational talks in 10 different villages. These presentations touched on many of the commonly held misconceptions about sexual health and contraceptive methods, all the while encouraging open discussion on such topics. While they acknowledge this is only one part of a long-term cultural shift, fellows hope that dispelling some of these myths will increase local contraceptive use and subsequently decrease unwanted pregnancies.
“During my summer vacation, I interned with ETH, finding out the community KAP (Knowledge Attitude and Practices) on the different methods of contraception. The project went well. We achieved all our goals and activities for the project on time. My highlights besides working with a great team, and the jolly and friendly reception we received from the community, was interacting with community members during the focus group discussions, surveys, and educational talks and addressing some of their concerns and misconceptions.
Some of the challenges we faced were getting men involved in our educational talks, unwilling participants, and unavoidable delays from the workings of society. All in all the project was extremely educative and mind-opening and as a public health student, I appreciated the opportunity to experience the full scope of the health challenges people face in the community, how they are interlinked, and the impact of an intervention on that chain.” - Isabella Kiden (UCU ‘23)
In other news...
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