More Communication Campaigns for Family Planning in Senegal

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Senegal is making huge progress in achieving Millennium Development Goal Number Five, which deals with reducing maternal mortality.

USAID supports the MOH in Senegal to launch the Maternal & Child Health and Family Planning (MNCH/FP) Project, aiming at promoting birth spacing to achieve better health for mothers and children, and offering a wide range of contraceptive methods.

An international nonprofit IntraHealth has  launched a campaign, Family Planning–a Priority for the Reduction of Maternal and Infant Mortality, in Dakar. The message was that by increasing the Senegalese contraceptive rate to 60% by 2032, Senegal would need one million fewer jobs, and 25,000 maternal and 1.2 million children’s lives would be saved.

SANFAM is the only NGO that promotes family planning in the private sector of Senegal. SANFAM works with existing health structures within the sector and promotes family planning efforts by providing comprehensive support to these efforts, primarily through supervision and provision of supplies. 

Since the launch of the project, Catholic and Muslim  leaders in Senegal have started to educate people that spacing births by using contraceptives is not against the Bible or the Koran.There is, however, still resistance from some religious leaders, such as Talibouya Ka, an imam in Dakar who believes that the size of the Muslim family need to increase rather than decrease.

 The Senegalese government has been encouraging family planning utilization across the country in state-run hospitals and clinics, and the Ministry of Health and Prevention has doubled its budget for reproductive health. By ministerial directive, contraceptives are now mandated to be routinely ordered at these locations.

Call for Action:

We call for more communication campaigns and more demand creation for contraceptive services.  We suggest that IntraHealth and SanFam engage civil society and health professionals, empowering and motivating them to target husbands and elderly family members to promote family planning among couples.

We think it is important to create roundtables among religious leaders for them to be able to exchange ideas and thoughts on family planning and influence each other to be more acceptive of this concept. MOH needs to train local leaders extensively on the importance of family planning.

 

Shirin Kakayeva

Qin Xu

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2 Responses to “More Communication Campaigns for Family Planning in Senegal”

  1. mddolce1 Says:

    Hi,
    I am myself from Senegal and I thank you for this post. I was wondering why only husbands and not women should be targeted. Indeed, more importance should be given to promoting women empowerment groups as they are the ones who are more prone to accepting change for the safeguard of their family. I understand that in most households, its the husband who makes decision however, its not always the case especially because mentalities are changing over time.

  2. shirinkakayeva Says:

    Hi MDDOLCE1, nagadef? 🙂
    We did mention husbands in our recommendations because typical family planning programs usually do already focus on women, hence family planning units are normally somewhere within reproductive health. So in our post we were basically trying to advocate for husband involvement aside from only targeting women. Yes, you are absolutely right, there is a need for more women empowerment, which will contribute to the promotion of family planning.

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