Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Planning Parenthood at Pehal

Planning Parenthood at Pehal


Pehal, on the 30th of January, 2010, witnessed an immensely successful family planning session held within the construction community. A positive feedback and non hesitant approach by the parents took the participating volunteer’s by surprise. This has brought about a sense of encouragement in all of us for carrying out similar activities in other communities as well. This session was conducted by our volunteers, Preeti, Vipra, Zulaikha, Tripta, Kamesh, Ashish, Mohit, Ashish Deep and Surabhi.

On the basis of the community connect report; a datasheet consisting of the number of children in each family was prepared. In our community the average number of children turned out to be three per family.

One of Pehal’s Health and Nutrition Program Manager, Preeti Gupta, who is already involved in the Public Health sector and has carried out many such sessions in different villages, took lead in this program.  With her help, we individually interacted with each parent (Female volunteers with the mothers, and Male volunteers with the fathers).

The men were briefed on the importance of having a small family. In terms of education, their child’s progress with respect to the other was compared. Financially, they were explained how having a small family could prove more viable and efficient.

In women, we prioritized CuT, Male Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation over pills due to their long lasting side effects. In addition, women who had already used permanent methods of birth control interacted with the other women encouraging them to go ahead with it. Some of them had already used CuT’s.

The results of the session were as follows:

1)      It was observed most men didn’t use any measure of birth control. They made their wives take precautions etc.

2)      Some men had their families back home, but had already planned their families. They were encouraged to spread the message of birth control among their friends in the community.

3)      Bengali Men were told to talk within their community, and Bihari Men within theirs, to ask how many are interested in getting themselves a vasectomy.

4)      A few of the women had already gotten themselves operated. Citing their examples, we encouraged the rest to do the same. This resulted in a few willing to get permanently operated but asked for time to discuss the same with their husbands.

5)      Women who had their daughter’s recently married, or daughter in law with them, were told about CuT. Queries of spacing came up which were resolved.

6)      It was observed that some women wanted to get themselves operated; however, they feared their husbands would not agree. For the same, our volunteers addressing the male community were given the names of the husbands. They interacted with them and were able to partially convince them.

7)      Cases of abortion came up; we told them about the possibilities of continuous abortion resulting in cervical cancer.

8)      Some woman asked for contraceptives and pills and refused to even listen to the benefits of CuT/Tubal Ligation.



Majority of the women just had one query: How much time will it take before I could start working again?

We told them it doesn’t take much time, depending on the means of birth control; it would only mean a day of rest to the max.

What surprised them was the fact that permanent ‘OPERATION’, didn’t mean an operation that involves cutting and stitching. We told them about the telescopic method of surgery. This convinced the hesitant women even more.

Men basically insisted on the fact that these measures aren’t 100 percent effective. They were told how precaution lessens the chances.

Follow up plans:

 We have given a space of a week to the community to discuss it with each other and their friends, after which the following would be done :

-          A male and female who have already adapted to the birth control measures would be chosen as community leaders. He and She would guide the rest on the same and solve their queries.

-          Individual Follow up would be done for those who showed partial hesitation towards permanent methods of birth control.

-          If hesitation persists due to fear, we would call upon an activist/Doctor who could further convince them.

-          Helping the women interested in getting tubal ligation. These would also serve as an example for the other hesitant woman, who would be able to see the benefits and remove their fears.


General Information we gave:

The common methods of family planning are:

1)       Temporary: Male Condom, Oral Pill and CuT 380 A

2)       Permanent method: Vasectomy in males and tubal ligation in females.


1) Temporary:

a) Male condom: Easily available without prescription.

b) Oral Pill: Available to women with prescription (Mala D. Mala N, Saheli,etc.). These have some side effects.

c) CuT 380A: Females always some or the other fear in their minds about inserting this device. Firstly, it irritates and secondly, it brings about excessive vaginal bleeding. It’s important to make them aware about checking the left out thread to assure the device is in place, which is probably the third most feared aspect of this device. The advantage of this device is that it is the long lasting; lasts for at least for 10 years and never needs to be replaced.

2) Permanent:

 Male sterilization or vasectomy is easier than female operation or tubectomy. The male can start working normally after 48 hours of the operation. Nowadays, it is conducted through telescopic method, which requires only 2-3 stitches.



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