Alliances for Africa with support from of IPAS has concluded its intervention in Imo state, Nigeria. The project bridged the knowledge gap of women and girls on their sexual and reproductive health and right, with specificity on safe medical abortion. Our planned intervention spanned from February to June 2022. The project was informed by confirmed paucity of information around the subject matter and unavailability of safe medical abortion services for women and girls.
Objectives of the project were;
- To improve the agency of women and girls in Imo state to access abortion self-care.
- To improve capacity of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) to dispense accurate MA regimen to women and girls.
- To build the capacity of peer educators to accurately provide MA information and guidance.
Despite being a pilot project, owing to the sensitivity of the project theme in our operational setting, we are delighted at the interesting results achieved.
Our mapped strategies include;
- Establishing the Imo State Safe Space Circle (ISSPAC)
- Popularization of the HERSPERIAN and EUKI safe abortion mobile applications in Imo State
- Creating awareness and sensitization programs on women’s sexual and reproductive health and right.
- Increasing capacity of PPMVs and Peer educators, to achieve our stated objectives which is to provide accurate information on SRHR for women and girls and also provide access to safe medical abortion services.
Deploying our strategies, we increased capacity of 25 peer educators, including Persons with Disabilities, on understanding safe medical abortion and other SRHR related topics. We trained 13 Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) on medical safe abortion methods, introduced the mifepak, accurate regimen and post abortion care.
For sustainability of project, we constituted a coalition comprising peer educators and PPMVs called Imo State Safe Space Circle (ISSPAC) with five executive members. The idea of ISSPAC was to provide linkage between information and access to services for women and girls using trained peer educators and PPMVs with stipulated code of conduct. While the peer educators are being charged with the responsibility of educating women and girls during their various cohort sessions, on SRHR with particular reference to medical safe abortion, they are also required to make referrals to PPMVs whenever the need arise. Still on sensitization to aid accurate dissemination of safe abortion information, we organized awareness programs with 30 undergraduates, out of school women and girls and sex workers. In addition to the sensitization, they were introduced to the Euki and Hesperian mobile applications which we ensured they downloaded on their mobile phones. Based on this, we can posit that out of the 90 women and girls sensitized, over 60 downloaded the applications. To further popularize the EUKI and Hesperian apps, we sponsored adverts on our social media platforms.