By Fausiat Balogun, Country Social Media Engagement Coordinator
Delivering Innovation in Self Care
It’s no doubt that women love safe spaces where they perceive as conducive and relaxing and can be themselves.
This scenario is not an often common sight in typical health care settings. Little wonder when women are asked about self-care they are quick to mention a visit to the spa or a beauty parlor.
Safe spaces can be viewed as any location or environment where people can relax and feel confident that they will not encounter harassment, be criticized, discriminated against or any kind of harm be it physical or emotional.
Towards creating a healthier society by popularizing preventive measures, DISC organized camp activation awareness programs on various issues of health and hygiene among women of reproductive age at NYSC camps. For this purpose, DISC has been able to provide this safe spaces enabling women of reproductive age to easily access quality SRH information, counselling and services.
DISC self-care lounge presents these young women a beautiful no-judgement scenery with good music and vibes, where they sit together chatting away and getting their nails or hair done while waiting to see a family planning provider to take up a SRH service. The self-care lounge an initiation of DISC started in Oyo and Kaduna NYSC camps and recently scaled up to Lagos and Niger states and has impacted over 6000 young people with FP/SRH messages and skills on self-care to enable them take charge of their reproductive health.
Just this year DISC successfully set up beautiful self-care lounges at NYSC camps and provided innovative and engaging strategies for SRH services. The safe space created provides three stages of self-care services where a beauty parlor meets a health center literally. The first stage of services at the self-care lounge is a beautiful relaxing space, where ladies can watch SRH skits and listen to messages on TV, chat with peers about messages learnt among other hot gist. The second services found in the booth is the free beauty and self-care services such as pedicure and manicure services. The third and most creative space is the FP provider counselling unit, where ladies get counselled and map out their FP plans with a trained provider.
Research conducted under the DISC project revealed that women place high priority on privacy, convenience, and affordability when it comes to up taking a contraceptive service. DMPA.SC self-injection was included as one of the immediate contraceptive services we received in camp, especially as DMPA-SC is the flagship product of DISC and offers women the opportunity to experience convenience as women can learn to self-inject and do that by themselves every 3 months; privacy – women are able to self-inject in the privacy other their home and not necessarily visiting a the health center for refill and affordability – DMPA.SC is quite affordable in private health facilities and free in most public facilities.
For an unlimited access to information on contraceptives methods, DISC team launched her Consumer ecosystem including a WhatsApp based digital companion, web-based landing page, 321 toll free IVR to support women throughout their entire self-injection journey – to take up, sustain use of and advocate for self-injection.