Francis Amenuve, HealthKeepers Network.
Francis Amenuve is a HealthKeeper and a subsistence farmer. He always dreamed of being a doctor, but that is a costly pursuit. Working as a health service provider allows him to live part of that dream, and he finds the work fulfilling. He mentions a man, who after learning about the dangers of unprotected sex from Francis, explained those dangers to his son, who now purchases condoms from Francis. Francis has also explained the importance of family planning to women in his community, and they now buy oral contraceptive pills from him.
He attributes his success in getting people to adopt practices that promote health by respecting their choices and privacy. He always explains that laws prohibit health workers from disclosing confidential patient information, and legal sanctions await those who do so. He also lets his clients know that family planning, by law, is voluntary.
Even so, it is often difficult to get people to accept family planning. For example, he says when people cannot afford to buy condoms, they may give cultural or religious reasons for refusing them. He wishes that he could convince everyone of family planning’s enormous benefits for women, men, children, and communities.
With additional funding provided by a grant awarded under Advancing Partners & Communities (APC), HealthKeepers Network is expanding their community-based family planning (CBFP) project. The CBFP project aims to reduce the gap between the demand and the supply of HIV prevention and family planning (FP) products. The program provides access to affordable contraception, including condoms and oral contraceptives, as well as other products and services.