Social Behavior Change and Communication; SFH’s golden way to improve Family Planning Uptake in Rwanda
As thousands gathered in the land of a thousand hills to attend the 5th edition of the International Conference on Family Planning aimed 2018 at “Investing in Family Planning for a LifeTime of returns,” some key organizations have already embarked on a journey to improve Family planning and contraception through different approaches. Speaking of innovative approaches towards improving awareness , skills, uptake on Family planning while breaking myths and taboos, Society for Family Health (SFH) Rwanda’s; Social Behavior Change and Communication approach is one that has yielded a lot. SHF has increased knowledge and demand creation for family planning services through the Social Marketing Program that uses a Social behavior change communication.
Through RSMP – SBCC, SFH has sensitized the Rwandan population including those from remote settings about the importance of Family planning through friendly interactions and discussions about the different methods, both long term and short term. As a result, people have been empowered to standup and take the formerly neglected action of choosing sizeable families through the different FP options at hand.
To ensure SBCC, SFH uses approaches that engage the community interaction around FP like; Mobile Family Planning, Mobile Video shows, community outreaches, Community dramas and Special events with male involvement to increase availability and accessibility to FP services. This breaks barriers to FP services for the vulnerable communities by bringing FP services closer in partnership with health centers targeting rural and hard to reach areas. Here, communities receive information on FP, make informed FP choices and adopt modern FP methods of their choice. Referrals to Health centers are done for long term methods.
“One day I attended mobile video session on Family Planning. We had two children then, after listening to the benefits of FP, we attended a mobile Family Planning session where through counseling, we decided to take pills for birth control. Since then I have been getting 3 months pills at 200frws from the nearest Pharmacy, we are happy, healthy and working hard for our family, and will only get other children when we feel ready and can afford them,” says Betty Mukamugema, 30 years old Bugesera resident.
As a result, SFH has contributed to improved health and wellbeing of the families and communities in Rwanda since 2012 with increased numbers of people adopting Family Planning uptake. For example, between 2015-2018, more than 40,000 people were reached with Family planning activities and many of them took options by their choices.
Society for Family Health (SFH) Rwanda, a member of Population Services International (PSI) is one of the leading local Social Marketing and behavior change communication (BCC) Organizations that specializes in innovative approaches to empower vulnerable people to adopt health solutions. SFH has extensive experience in health promotion related to Family Planning and Sexual Reproductive Health, HIV prevention, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, Malaria prevention Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and Nutrition. And by the look of things, SFH is indeed working tirelessly to improve people’s wellbeing as per its central aim and Family Planning is one field they have really thrived, thanks to SBCC. And with a fully stalked booth at the ICFP2018 with detailed information on what SFH does in Rwanda, it’s quite fulfilling to visit and view their journey in improving Family Planning.
The SFH family planning SBC and service delivery interventions are supported by USAID and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Rwanda Biomedical Center with fully involvement of health care providers.