“I have been using the family planning method since the past 19 months. Now, I…
“The men of our community lend their voice to the issues faced by the women, and together, we have been working to resolve their struggles”, says Sajid – the General-Secretary of the Village Health Committee (VHC) in Chak 252 Jarole, near Jhang.
Before DAFPAK’s interventions, residents of the community were unaware of the necessity of birth spacing and the health complications emerging from its negligence. Once the community was sensitized, they went over and above their call of duty and came together as a community to collect funds for underprivileged families and attain the same family planning services at the monthly camp.
An overarching problem faced by the women in the community is their inability to pay the service charges for their deliveries. Moreover, due to the lack of infrastructure and the bare minimum transportation facilities in the locality, families coming from lower working-class backgrounds could not afford to travel to hospitals for pregnancy check-ups or deliveries.
Partnering with the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN), PSI implemented their DAFPAK project on the field. While talking to the RSPN Communications Officer, Sajid beamed with joy, saying “our community has been gathering every month without fail. I am proud of them. This platform has been instrumental for our community, as here we not only discuss our everyday problems freely and openly but also allow the fortunate members of the Chak to contribute towards helping their less-privileged peers. This proves that no problem is too great when we work together for its resolution”. He recalled, “In the beginning, when the Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP) recommended that we gather in this manner, only a few people showed up – a mere count of seven men and five women. But now, not only are we successfully collecting donations, but we have also grown in strength and number. The men of our community lend their voice to the issues faced by the women of our community, and together, we have been working to resolve them. For starters, we have raised awareness about the benefits of birth-spacing and careful family planning.” The Social Organizers and Lady Health Visitor from the Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP) have emphasized how important it is for new mothers to wait two years before they conceive again. In fact, not only does birth-spacing help prevent health complications in mothers, but it also helps newborns live healthier lives. The VHC has been facilitating the Community Resource Persons (CRPs) going door-to-door, spreading information about the use of contraceptives for birth spacing.
“We learned that there were many families that found it difficult to continuously pay the service delivery charges, a recurrent issue surfacing in our sessions. We then set up a fund for the deserving families, who could contact the VHC during the days the monthly camp is held where we will cover their expenditure so they too, can practice birth spacing. There were many pregnant women in our village, for them we collected contributions to cover travel and medical expenses that enabled them to travel to the hospital for their check-ups and delivery. We have helped four pregnant women in our village this way so far. We are honing this idea further to ensure that our community thrives”, Sajid shared beamingly