“We visited the popular, noisy and busy LAFENWA market in Abeokuta, Ogun state on March 17, 2016, dressed in our white and gold uniforms with a sunflower & Bee badge which is our identity as the DKT BEES.
Upon our arrival at the market, we arranged with one of the market women who helped us mobilize other women with the use of a megaphone to announce our presence and intentions. Soon, a large crowd of market women gathered around us. The family planning awareness campaign began at 11am.
We spoke with a lot of these women, so much that we lost count in the process. Different folks with different strokes. Women from the crowd asked questions, some made complaints and concerns about the different family planning methods they had previously used or heard of.
Some of them took interest and sat one-on-one with our BEES to be counselled. Suddenly, among the crowd a sound of protest began with so much noise that for a second it over powered the sound from our megaphone. At the top of their voices some people were shouting “Ewe ati egbo lo dara ju lo lati fe to somo bibi” (herbs are the best for family planning). A group of local herb sellers had come to compete with the DKT Bees.
This group of women began to challenge our BEEs by boasting about the efficacy of local herbs and charms over our so called ‘ogun oyinbo’ (Whiteman’s medicine) but we turned deaf ears to them. When they realized we were not mindful of them, they began to approach the women in the crowd who were listening to us. The Local herb sellers declared a war on family planning.
There were also some other women who were there to discourage others from taking DMPA Sc. or any form of family planning at all.
Despite the chaos and intended discouragement from the herb sellers and those who were against family planning completely, we successfully couselled over 60 women out of which 42 took DMPA Sc. right in their stalls and several other women took the pills and condoms. The women were glad they chose modern family planning method like DMPA Sc.. This indeed was a huge success. The event ended at 7 pm and we left the market exhausted but accomplished”
DKT Bees are a group of Community Health Extension Workers who counsel and administer DMPA Sc. and other contraceptive options from door to door in the suburban communities.