Contraception: Is it cultural barriers or lack of supplies?

November 30, 2016

It is so often claimed that shortage of supplies is not the real reason for low contraception usage, but here is a case where the shortage is indeed the problem. In 2015, lack of information about family planning may have been the reason, but we have solved that problem with family planning training of a few women and the development of a family planning video in the Maasai language. Consequently, in August, when Marie Stopes showed up with their mobile clinic at a nearby health clinic in the small town of Nainokanoka, 28 women walked 4 miles to get family planning implants.

Now, when more women are showing interest, Marie Stopes has cancelled their mobile clinic, at least until next year. This means that the women who wanted to get a method can’t get one, and that women who were having undesirable side effects from the hormones in the implant can’t easily get it removed and can’t get a new method. It has been shown that women who reject a method that does not work for them are at a large risk of rejecting modern contraception altogether.

We had been hoping that the doctor at the small, woefully inadequate, government health clinic at Nainokanoka could be talked into providing family planning services there. Finally our Maasai team members have become acquainted with the facility and the staff and have convinced the doctor to provide family planning services. This doctor even suggested a mobile clinic to make monthly rounds to serve all the people in the area.

But, gosh, I had really underestimated the sad state of affairs at a government-funded clinic.

This like peeling an onion.

So now I am looking for an NGO who can supply the clinic with the needed contraceptive methods. And then there is all the other equipment needed.

Below is his letter, listing all that is needed.

Dear Karen,


Thank you for your response.

I have impressed on what you have started on Family Planning issues.

I thought that,your plan would be sustainable if we can equip Nainokanoka HC (health clinic) with enough instruments and supplies to facilitate services for the entire population and the nearby.

At our Centre we are providing the following methods of Family Planning:

1.Short term methods-Pills; Combined Oral pills and Progesterone only pills, Male and Female Condom, Calender method.

2.Long term FP methods -Implanon 3 years and Jadedly 5 years.

Permanent FP methods – Bilateral Tubal Ligation(BTL) and Vasectomy meanwhile not practicable as we do not have theatre,.

There are 3 Health Care Workers who trained to provide these services.

It is therefore, they are able to put and remove implants without dought.

Giving them a refresher course will be an advantage.

The following items will facilitate to run Family Planing services at our Centre:

=A supply of Oral Pills and Implants, Lignocane, Surgical blades, Surgical gloves, Iodine solution, Syringes 5cc and 2cc,Cotton wool, Gauze and Antiseptics.

=Instruments needed -Cheatle forceps, Artery forceps, Dissecting forceps, Speculum(cusco), Kidney dishes 5, Gall pots 5 ,Sphygmomanometer (Blood pressure machine), Sterilizer,Examination bed, Examination light and Weighing scale Adult.

Diesel engine Generator is needed for sterilization of Instruments.

=Mobile outreach clinics to the community will increase the number of Clients but not Family Planning alone in separate, other services like Vaccination to Children, Health education, Antenatal services will be rendered if fuel and Allowance for driver and 4 Staff will be available.