Immunization and its preventive advantanges
A Small Step: Educating Mothers on Family Planning on Immunization Days
Photo credit: MSH.This was my first trip to Africa working with a development agency. While I had visited the African continent for personal trips previously, arriving in this context felt different. I was immediately aware of the challenges Uganda is facing. From the crumbling road infrastructure and high incidence of traffic accidents in Kampala, to the mobile phone networks that are pretty reliable while internet access is often spotty, to the prevalence of street children --- I can for the first time see what my local colleagues are up against.
I felt a bit overwhelmed in the first few days. Is there any way we can address all these challenges? Can we make a difference?
Visiting communities and health centers in Kampala, Eastern and Western Uganda -- and seeing first-hand the impact MSH is having across the country -- quickly re-inspired me.
I had the pleasure of meeting a particularly passionate and committed Clinical Officer, Rodger Rwehandika, at Bikone Health Center II in Western Uganda. As a health center II, Bikone is an outpatient facility, but the staff of the facility can also conduct outreach programs to educate and serve the community.
Rodger and his two staff facilitate health education programs at the local schools and also host youth-friendly programs on using condoms.
On the Wednesday I visited Bikone, Mr. Rwehandika was preparing for a behavior change communication activity: using drama and discussion to educate mothers on family planning while they waited to have their children immunized. He explained to me that Wednesday is immunization day, so mothers bring their children to the facilities. He uses this opportunity to engage and educate them on family planning, reproductive health, and nutrition issues and services.