Patna, India – As part of a three-day celebration of Bihar’s statehood, Jhpiego India showcased the country team’s work in family planning for new mothers at a state-sponsored health fair and anniversary event. The Hon. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, attended the opening day festivities.
Jhpiego staff manned several booths on the grounds of the “health camp” at the event held to commemorate the 98th anniversary of Bihar’s founding as a state. They shared leaflets, brochures and job aids with mothers and pregnant women who visited the booths. The materials explained Jhpiego’s role in helping health officials strengthen family planning services and provide intrauterine contraceptive devices to women following childbirth.
Doctors, deployed by the District Health Society, were available at the health camp to examine visitors and address their health needs. Counselors provided support to those asking about family planning, reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases. A video on Jhpiego’s antenatal care approach to keeping pregnant women healthy also was on display. Information and counseling on postpartum family planning and the postpartum intrauterine contraceptive device (PPFP/PPIUCD) generated great interest among women and young girls.
Meena Devi, a 17-year-old mother, was keen to delay her next pregnancy, but had not received any antenatal or postnatal counseling. After reading about various contraceptive methods at the Jhpiego booth, she approached the counselor and wanted to know more about the IUCD. She had reservations about the method and several misconceptions about this form of contraception, which the counselor satisfactorily addressed. Like Meena, several other teenage mothers and pregnant women were curious about family planning methods available to them. According to a report from the District Health Society, 85 women attending the camp event in late March were counseled on PPFP/PPIUCD. Of those, 42 percent adopted a modern method of contraception.
Community-based health workers also gathered up Jhpigeo’s materials on PPFP/PPIUCD and said that they would now share the information with women in their communities