Twenty seven year old Irene Atieno had been in constant conflict with her husband regarding the use of a contraceptive method after having their first child who is now two years. She desired to space her pregnancies but the partner argued that family planning would affect her health.
She suggested the use of condoms as an alternative but this too failed since the man had not fully bought into the idea of contraception.
Irene who is also blind decided to go for Depo injections despite her partner’s dissenting opinion. She was persuaded that her choice was right since neither of them was employed nor had a steady income to care for their children and personal needs.
She had attended a crocheting course at Aluor School of the Blind and had a crocheting machine that she would occasionally use to crotchet sweaters for neighbors’ schoolchildren. Each sweater fetches 450 to 600 Kenya Shillings.
Irene divulges that at some point they had a misunderstanding and had to live separate with her husband. She defaulted on the depo jabs and got pregnant as soon as they reconciled the marriage.
The reunion was not long lived and later on she returned to her rural home in Asembo Constituency with two children. The last-born is now six months old.
She swore never to take chances with birth control and once at home, Irene visited Mama Ann Odede Clinic, one of the Huduma Poa Health Network Facilities.
Irene insisted on getting an IUCD reporting that she had once used implants and had hormonal effects on her. In addition, she was aware she had defaulted on Depo before and did not wish to take the risk again. Unfortunately, the Sub County was experiencing IUCD stock outs. She says she was advised to come a few days later after the facility had restocked.
Luckily, she learnt that the said health facility would be holding a joint community outreach with KMET and the Ministry of Health in their village.
We later met Irene at Opiata Beach during the outreach some 15 kilometers from her home. This is where she finally got the non-hormonal method.
“I don’t want to be going back to the hospital after every three months, it is too hectic and easy to forget,” she says of the Injections.
We got in touch with her two months later via phone and Irene assured us that she is doing well save for a little cramping before her menstrual periods. She is optimistic that she will not be getting another child anytime soon until she is ready for one.
“I’ve not had any problem with this coil, and I know I will give birth only when I want now,” adds the special needs mother.
Reported by Pamela Nyagol-Quality Assurance Officer