Ufuoma Omo Obi

2016 Winner

Position: Country Director
Organization: Marie Stopes Sierra Leone

Ufuoma Omo Obi is Country Director for Sierra Leone Marie Stopes; he has been with Marie Stopes since 2014, holding several key leadership roles. Among his accomplishments are leading the evolution of a supportive supervisory model aimed at scaling up LARC delivery, which was piloted in two Nigerian states and has since been adopted, used and funded by a variety of partners/donors, including UNFPA, USAID and CHAI.

Ufuoma is a ‘doer’ who’s speed, determination and focus on scale has allowed him to deliver some of the most successful family planning service delivery programmes in the West Africa region.

Richard Boustred, Director at DKT International, Francophone West and Central Africa

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I led the evolution of public sector training, supportive supervisory model aimed at scaling up LARC’s delivery initially through a pilot in 2 States of Nigeria; supporting the government to provide an abridge intensive competency based model for LARC delivery from a 4 weeks training model to a 7-Day training model including tools and resources i.e. Manuals, Supervision and QA tools with wide stakeholder acceptance for providers resulting in very significant up-take of services and over 90% in Savings of donor resources as well as uptake in LARC’s. This model, has been adopted, used and funded by a variety of partners/donors including UNFPA, USAID, CHAI, etc. This has resulted in MSI establishment of “Public Sector Training Supportive Supervision Channel” with programmes in 3 WA Countries.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Overwhelmed by country statics on maternal and child mortality, MSI made me appreciate how access to FP is a life saver and game changer if we were to achieve zero maternal deaths because most pregnancies are unintended and access to safe abortion services restricted, with reports of over 700,000 abortions happening amongst young people; deaths and the disability resulting from unsafe abortion, I felt I should do something about it, because as a young person I knew how vulnerable girls were.

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

Over-medicalization of FP interventions from programme implementation, policy formulation and delivery as well as social stigma related to young people and adolescents access and people of certain faith inclinations. In tackling some of the issues, I’ve empirical, anecdotal evidence and lessons to influence practice. E.g. belief that IUD’s are invasive. What has worked was to share service delivery numbers from similar groups/countries with higher levels of IUD and improving counselling skills.

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

A high unmet needs for FP exists owing to poor access to high quality FP commodities and services, restrictive policy that are adverse to task-sharing and provision of SRH services for young people, in schools, social stigma and autonomy and issues related to low level awareness of the importance of FP among the population. Strengthen capacity of the public sector to deliver the full range of FP services, task-sharing promoting leadership and stronger governance of the Health system.

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

Into the future I’d lead FP and SRH programmes delivery within the WA to deliver our vision beyond for FP2020. I inspire a lot young people, service providers and the public sector, thus through existing networks and programmes, I will evolve and nurture emerging leaders who would contribute to FP objectives in their country context, ensuring programmes are fit for purpose and communities are able to fulfill our essential purpose of enabling women to have children by choice not chance