Ivy Asantewa Sarpong
I have delivered quality service to 1000s of women in Accra, Ghana. I aim at not just providing an FP method but ensuring that clients continue on their chosen methods till their reproductive goals are met. In doing this I employ good counselling skills, professionalism, interpersonal relationship and a smile. I was also handpicked by the Ministry of Health in 2015 as part of the core staff for the newly built and yet to be commissioned University of Ghana Medical Centre in Accra and have received training in Sheba Medical Centre, Israel to that effect.
I am particularly thrilled when I receive a phone call or a message from one of my numerous clients who wants to inform me that she is doing well on the method and also wants to thank me. That to me is an achievement: A satisfied client.
During my first week as a student nurse on the Labour ward, I witnessed 5 maternal mortalities which I thought could have been avoided if these women had known about and used some form of FP method. This is because four out of the five women had their last child less than 18 months old with two having a history of PPH. These seemingly unnecessary deaths made me want to tell every one I meet about FP because I believe that if women survive, communities thrive and prevention is better than cure.
My biggest challenge was the unavailability of some of the FP methods sometime ago. This was a challenge because I couldn't offer a variety of methods to my clients which compromises the quality of care given( According to the Bruce-Jain framework, 1990). This also increased the discontinuation rates for FP.
With the help of other team members, I have been able to liase with other NGOs and facilities in ensuring that all the various methods are available at all times in the RH Centre
The biggest challenge is the lack of correct information about and on FP methods. Myths and misconceptions about FP methods and its use especially with regards to side effects. Giving out correct, concise and accurate information geared at debunking these myths and misconceptions in various languages and dialects and targeting the average Ghanaian would go a long way to address this problem and also increase uptake and continuity of FP methods. Health workers should also have refresher courses.
In the next five years, I want to be able to completely set up a comprehensive client centered reproductive health centre in the new University of Ghana Medical Centre. This centre should have professional well trained staff who would provide services to clients not just in Ghana but in the sub region. I also wish to acquire my PHD in Reproductive Health whilst still staying in the service delivery area and imparting knowledge to all calibre of clients, staff, students and individuals in Ghana.