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Namakau Nyambe

Namakau Nyambe - 2016 Nominee
Position: Program Officer
Organization: FHI360
One of the strong advocates of the just recently approved CBD injectable program in Zambia. Spearheaded development of CBD guidelines, participated in development of CBD curriculum and CBD strategy. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I helped coordinate the final stage of the Community Based Distribution of Injectable Depo- Provera. Since the pilot ended in 2013, I have been playing a very active role in advocating for policy change to allow CBD agents to distribute injectable Depo - Provera within their communities. I coordinate CBD taskforce meetings and ensure that they occur frequently to keep the momentum for advocacy going. My main achievement is that in January 2016, the Ministry of Health - Zambia gave a go ahead to scale up the CBD injectable program to the rest of the districts in Zambia. This was achievement was made collaboratively and the following organizations were involved FHI360, CHILDFUND, PATH, SFH, SUFP and UNFPA. I developed the CBD injectable guidelines and now helping with the CBD curriculum.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Coming from a gender background, I believe that family planning is one of the ways through which women can be empowered. Family planning gives a women time to be involved in income generating activities or even further her education and thereby contribute to the development of the country.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

As a researcher, I believe in putting in place evidence based interventions to help improve health systems and increase access to health services. There must be a smooth transition from research to practice but in some cases certain policies my be a barrier which has to be addressed in order to pave way for positive change. Lots of advocacy efforts, proactivity and consultative meetings led by MOH through the CBD task force -which I am a part of- helped in achieving this policy change.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

Despite all the efforts made by the government to increase access to family planning services, the unmet need still remains high. More so in rural/ remote parts of the country. Women in the rural areas have to travel long distances to get to the nearest health facility to access family planning services. This gets even worse during the rain season. Even though there might be a CBD agent in the community, the method mix is limited. The is need to speed up on the scale up of the CBD program.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Women out there in the communities must have access to a good quality family planning services of their choice and this should be accessed easily i.e within their reach. They must be able to have a method of their choice too.

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