It is quite encouraging to organisations and health partners disseminating reproductive health messages, especially when the response is overwhelming, seeing more women taking part in family planning issues.
The feedback is so instant sometimes, especially for organisations with mobile clinics offering free services to those ready and willing. Once the messages reach the fertile ground in their ears, most women don’t hesitate to choose a family planning method of their choice there and then.
I happened to eavesdrop when one Mailos Chiwaya, a tailor was confiding in a friend how his wife started using family planning methods without his knowledge.
Chiwaya noticed some changes in his wife’s menstrual cycle as well as how his wife had suddenly gained weight. That is when his wife confessed that she was now using family planning methods.
“Achimwene, unfortunately the method she is using is a permanent and irreversible. I wanted to try my luck may be this time God could have given us a baby boy.
“It’s bad enough she went ahead without consulting me but the least she would have done was to choose atleast a temporary method,” lamented Chiwaya.
Traditional Authority Kachindamoto bemoans the tendency of excluding men when venturing into family planning, saying men’s voice on the issue is valid.
“Any decision concerning a family ought to be agreed upon by both parties. Family planning as the name suggests should involve all members of the family, therefore, it is wrong for women to decide on their own about family planning issues,” Kachindamoto said.
She added that women should give themselves time to digest reproductive health messages before choosing a particular method.