Family planning service in the village
Lianne (last name withheld) from Aba village in the Tamata d’Oro LLG with her husband Ben had choices in family planning during a patrol visit by the Marie Stopes outreach team since Lae recently.
“Oro! Oro! Oro! Thank you Marie Stopes for visiting this part of the province, ”chanted Lianne in her local vernacular.
“I was using herbs to help my husband and I control and space our kids, but it didn’t work,” she says.
Lianne’s story represents that of so many rural women, men, youth and adolescents who face limited or no access to contraceptives, resulting in unplanned pregnancies and high maternal mortality rates in the country.
The closest health facility for Lianne and her husband is the Manau Health Center, but there are no family planning or reproductive health service providers on site, so women in the area often have many children who are close to each other.
This is a concern for women like Lianne due to the physical demands of the birth of all children and the difficult realities of providing for them.
“My husband and I are subsistence farmers and we have no other means of income to meet the basic needs of all our children,” Lianne says.
When Lianne and Ben learned that Marie Stopes’ outreach team in Lae would be visiting their village, they did not hesitate to ask them for help. They don’t want to have any more children.
Marie Stopes’ multi-day rural outreach programs are supported by the PNG-Australia Partnership to provide family planning services in remote areas.
From January to June of this year, Marie Stopes reached over twenty thousand people, offering a wide range of short, long and permanent contraceptive methods to help prevent or space pregnancies. They also reached over 350,000 people through the distribution of information, education and communication materials.
The outreach team arrived in Aba village and used the primary school’s outdoor classroom to provide family planning services to the villagers.
Lianne said they walked for an hour and a half to get to Aba village to receive this implant.
“We were happy that the Marie Stopes PNG team came to our village to provide family planning services in our area. “
According to Marie Stopes, the implant is one of the family planning methods that can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 5 years and can be removed at any time.
The contraceptive takes about five minutes to implant in the upper arm and is almost 100 percent effective in preventing unintended pregnancies.
It is one of the family planning methods offered by Marie Stopes that allows women and families to have children by choice and not by chance.
MSPNG provides family planning and sexual and reproductive health services through two centers in Port Moresby and Lae; outreach patrols / mobile clinics and postnatal nurses stationed in many provincial general hospitals across the country.
Guided by its mission, “Children by choice, not by chance,” MSPNG works closely with the government of Papua New Guinea through the Ministry of Health to ensure that positive approaches to modern contraception are adopted with public and private health workers trained to meet the demand for services.