Host: welcome to the indi-genius podcast. A podcast series using creative oral storytelling to document and share real-life experiences of grassroot family planning leaders in Nigeria and the Republic of Niger; with the aim of facilitating knowledge exchange and highlighting what works and what doesn’t in reproductive health programming. I am your host Seyi Bolaji, on today’s episode, we travel to the town of Madalla in Niger State, Northern Nigeria where we listen to the story of our youth champion Annabel Ovia. This is Annabel’s story; come with me.

Champion: young adolescent girls in my community don’t have knowledge about reproductive health. One incident made me to pick more interest about advocating about family planning and reproductive health. They was one little girl I saw on the road side and she was crying so I walked up to her and asked her what was the problem? to my greatest surprise she was like “aunty, I don’t know blood is coming out from my body”. I said OK calm down; what’s your name? she told me her name was Mary. I said OK; where do you stay? She now told me the address. OK where are you coming from? She told me her mum sent her to buy something; I said OK. How old are you? She said she was 13years old; so when she was telling me all those things and she was actually crying, I tried to calm her down also so I followed her to her house and to my greatest surprise the children the woman has was so numerous they were plenty at least seven of them all came out and their age difference was just one year. I was so shocked because I didn’t expect that and this made me think that this could be the case of many women in our in our community. So I asked the woman to get a pad for her daughter so that she can freshen up and change. But to my greatest surprise when she went inside she brought a rag out and I was like this is not hygienic I had to run back home, go get a pad for her, brought it back to her, taught her how to use the pad, how to calculate her menstrual cycle, and how she can be able to dispose the used pad. So actually the mother was actually standing by paying attention to what I was saying and she was like “thank you very much Nne, I never knew all about this”. I was like no problem, everything is cool. So with all the thank you and everything I was just like Mama why do you born so many children? She say uhmm “my daughter I don’t know oh, after like giving birth to the second one, breastfeeding the baby for like six months, and the baby is almost like one year she now slept with her husband and she just took in at once. I was like OK; have you not heard about family planning? She was like “which one is family planning again my daughter?”

So I actually explain to her what family planning is all about, family planning is the ability for someone to be able to space the timing and bearing of their children and help her to be able to space the timing and bearing of her child. And she was like “uhmmm I haven’t hear about that one oohh”. So I taught her how to use condom and other contraceptive. So my organization actually UPen4Slat the space of SRHR has taught me a lot which I was able to actually explain to the woman to that extend. So I am actually calling on the government to ensure women have access to family planning health care and also for the uhmm educational sectors uhmm they can send health care providers to school to educate girls child and also mothers about their reproductive health and also about family planning.

Host: this is a powerful story Annabel, creating awareness on sexual and reproductive health and taking the message of family planning to rural communities is essential.

Dear listener we want to hear from you. What have you learnt from today’s story please share your comment and questions in the chat box. Thank you for listening to the indi-genius podcast this podcast is brought to you by Strong Enough Girls Empowerment Initiative in partnership with the Young Ambassadors for Reproductive Health and Family Planning Network in Niger. It is made possible by the support of the American people through the Pitch season 2: A competition co-sponsored by the US Agency for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Pitch is created and managed by the Knowledge Success project with the Johns Hopkins University. The information provided in this podcast is the sole responsibility of Strong Enough Girls Empowerment Initiative and the Young Ambassadors for Reproductive Health and Family Planning Network and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, The US Government or Johns Hopkins University.

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CALL TO ACTION

  • We call on the government to fund, organize and participate in sensitizations in rural communities by engaging and training parents and community leaders on reproductive health and to ensure that the women in these areas have access to family planning methods.
  • We advocate to the minister of health for a review and adjustment of the FLHE curriculum in schools as outdated policies prevent effective use of the skills and competencies of the health workforce

Clear and concise messages on RH should be developed in different languages with recommended actions and solutions to common problems associated with the RH

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