Protecting the health and well-being of mothers and children through family planning

Samson Yenlong and his wife holding one of their three children.
Samson Yenlong and his wife holding one of their three children. | Credit: Somtochukwu Mbelu

SHOPS Plus is conducting trainings that equip providers in Nigeria with the skills to deliver high quality, rights-based family planning services. As part of the training, providers are offering free services at local health facilities, and this initiative is already changing the lives of people in these communities. 

Samson Yenlong is a 39-year-old father of three who lives in PIPC quarters, Anglo-Jos, Plateau. He and his 29-year-old wife decided to take advantage of the free services offered at a local hospital in Jos through the SHOPS Plus project. His reason for supporting his wife’s desire to learn more about family planning came from an incident with a close family member that affected him greatly. 

I remember my relative lost his wife during the birth of their ninth child. He is now struggling to take care of the nine children she left behind. The burden of raising these children means none of them could finish secondary school…” - Samson Yenlong

Yenlong and his wife first heard about the free services from their local church, which was part of the dissemination plan led by Breakthrough ACTION, a USAID project that uses state-of-the-art, evidence-based tools to encourage people in developing countries to adopt healthy behaviors. 

The Yenlongs attended a counseling session at Nigeria Airforce Hospital, where the free services were offered by health providers participating in a SHOPS Plus family planning training. Following the session and learning more about the benefits of family planning, the couple’s feelings about accessing the services were further strengthened. 

Having a desired family size will enable parents to take good care of their children in school, ensure stronger mothers, and reduce death of mothers and children, especially in view of the current economic challenges in the country." - Samson Yenlong

For many couples like the Yenlongs, accessing high quality family planning services is a challenge. In some instances it is the result of financial barriers but in other cases it can be the result of stigma and an unsupportive environment for women in their households.

 “I am thankful to SHOPS Plus for bringing these services to our community because most women don’t have the money to access family planning and our culture does not allow women easy access to family planning services, especially if they have not given birth to a male child." - Samson Yenlong

Yenlong is an example of a husband that understands the value of family planning services for the health and well-being of his wife and children. Through education, information sharing, and counseling sessions, more married couples like them will learn about the benefits of family planning and more husbands will give the same support to their wives that he does. As for now, Yenlong wishes to play his part by spreading the word about the importance of family planning and encouraging people in his community to take advantage of these services. 

“I will encourage other men in my local association and the church to support their wives to access family planning services for a better and happier family." - Samson Yenlong 

Learn more about the provider trainings in Nigeria
 

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Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.