With support from the SHOPS Plus project, the Vom Christian Hospital has resumed offering the full method mix of family planning services after three years.
Established in 1922 by missionaries in Plateau State, the hospital has served its community for decades, offering family planning as one of its services. The hospital was opened in an effort to complement the government’s effort to provide health care to the people, however, the hospital was forced to suspend family planning services due to staff attrition.
With support from the SHOPS Plus team, the hospital was able to bring back family planning services. For service providers like Mary Nyango, this has been an exciting development.
Nyango has worked at the hospital for 22 years. Early in her career she worked under a provider that was trained to provide long-acting contraception, a skill she hoped to develop and strengthen through her own training. Unfortunately, Nyango never received the training and was therefore unable to insert Jadelle and other implants correctly. Instead, she used an IUD insertion technique that increased the risk of infection for clients. As a result of the lack of training and services, Nyango said that clients who came to the hospital for family planning services were often unable to get the method they requested. In addition, the hospital lacked a private unit dedicated to family planning services to ensure that clients were comfortable and had the necessary privacy for counselling and clinical care.
In November 2018, this all changed for Nyango and the hospital. She was able to receive her desired training, and shortly after, Nyango was able to set up the first family planning unit and organize regular health talks for patients with support from the hospital’s management team.
“SHOPS [Plus] made a turnaround in my life and the life of people that may benefit from what [the project] has impacted [sic] in me,” she said. “They are doing a good job especially in our facility that has stayed quiet for some time now but is now alive again and delivering FP services. I lack words to appreciate and qualify what SHOPS [Plus] is doing in the lives of people.”
SHOPS Plus is facilitating agreements between private facilities, like Vom Christian Hospital, and the state government for private facilities to receive for free key commodities, like implants, which allow these facilities to reduce the cost of services to 700 naira ($2 USD) for long-acting reversible contraceptives and 200 naira for short-acting contraceptives. Nyango says all her clients are happy about the significant reduction in the cost of family planning services and that they now no longer have to travel long distances to get them.
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