Men celebrate the success of misoprostol in Nigeria
By Colleen O'Connor - Development Specialist
Men participate in community meeting
Maternal health programs and policies in Africa have often centered exclusively on women and girls, however today VSI and our partners are increasingly including men. The role of men in women’s health is not only valued but needed to help spread awareness and expand distribution of misoprostol tablets – the life saving tablets that prevent bleeding after home births.
Earlier this year at a community meeting in Zaria, Nigeria over 400 community members gathered to share and report on the successes of misoprostol in their villages. The attendance and participation of husbands and fathers, brothers and uncles and most importantly male community elders were welcomed and celebrated. After a moving reenactment of a death from bleeding after childbirth by a community drama group, one blind man shared a song he wrote with the audience. The song praised “miso,” a drug that prevents women from dying. He sang of gratitude to the implementing team and to VSI for providing the life-saving tablets. His song was inspiring and implored the men of the communities to continue to allow their wives and sisters to the use this life saving drug.
This is just one example of many testimonials heard from the men in Zaria. There is no question that the increased involvement of men in safe motherhood efforts is making a difference. Their voice not only empowers traditional birth attendants to give mothers this drug when they deliver at home but broadens awareness and deepens the community’s commitment to protecting women from life-threatening bleeding after childbirth.
We are thankful for the support of donors who share our commitment to preventing mothers from dying in childbirth.
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Project Leader: Allison Boiles
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