12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal
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12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal
On each of the 12 days in the run-up to International Women's Day on 8th March, our unique photojournal will give you a glimpse into our first year in in Senegal through the eyes of women and men, young people, our team members and clinicians – so #12monthsin12days.
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Day 12: Marie Stopes International Senegal - looking back and looking forward

Day 12: Marie Stopes International Senegal - looking back and looking forward | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

"When I came to work in Senegal, friends working in the sexual and reproductive health sector told me that providing family planning here was just not possible. That there were too many obstacles for women to overcome, and that women would not dare go to a dedicated family planning delivery point.

 

"They were wrong. The major highlight of our first year of service delivery in Senegal has been seeing that what we set out to do is actually happening."

Marie Stopes International's insight:

On the 12th and final day of our 12 months in 12 days photojournal to mark International Women's Day 2013, Senegal Country Director Maaike van Min takes a look back at our first year of operations in the country, and a look forward to the future.

We hope you've enjoyed the posts and photos from Marie Stopes International Senegal over the past 12 days. 

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Day 11: the benefits of long-acting contraception - more photos

Day 11: the benefits of long-acting contraception - more photos | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“My husband strongly encouraged me to get an implant, something which is pretty exceptional around here. Most men don’t like family planning, and that’s a real problem for Senegal." See more photos.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

While short-acting contraception such as the pill and condoms are often available in countries before we arrive, access to long-acting methods such as implants and IUDs are usually extremely limited. However increasingly, these are the methods that women in Senegal and other developing countries want. See more photos.

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Day 10: family planning in your twenties

Day 10: family planning in your twenties | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

"All the women are very excited about Marie Stopes coming to our area. Their services are affordable, accessible, discreet and clean. In short: good for our health!"
Read more

Marie Stopes International's insight:
Like women in many countries in the developing world, Senegalese women tend to have their first child early – too early than is healthy for their bodies, which are often not ready to give birth at such a young age. Often though, women know better. Views are starting to change here, and women are increasingly choosing smaller families – if, that is, they can access contraception. Here, we talk to women who have been able to do just this. Read more.
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Day 8: misoprostol - a gynaecologist's view

Day 8: misoprostol - a gynaecologist's view | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

"Misoprostol is a fantastic medicine. Apart from inducing labour, it also stops bleedings in women that have just given birth. That often saves their lives." Read the full story.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

Because misoprostol can be used to both prevent and treat post-partum haemorrhage, we think it should be registered for use in as many countries as possible as a priority. It can also be used for post-abortion care, a lifesaving treatment for women suffering the complications of unsafe abortion.


Here, a gynaecologist talks about how misoprostol has helped in her daily work, since it was registered in Senegal in early 2013.

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Day 6: Ndack, Nana and Bintou on how their BlueStar clinic is providing them with family planning

Day 6: Ndack, Nana and Bintou on how their BlueStar clinic is providing them with family planning | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“I am very excited about the  BlueStar clinic in my neighbourhood. I've wanted an IUD for a long time, but couldn’t afford it. Today I got it for free, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart." Read the stories.

Marie Stopes International's insight:
Our BlueStar clinics are pleased to finally be able to meet the needs of the many women who visit them asking for contraception and advice. Here, we talk to the women themselves. Read the stories.
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Day 5: the benefits of being BlueStar

Day 5: the benefits of being BlueStar | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“I didn’t hesitate a second when asked if I wanted to belong to the Bluestar network. At our clinic women couldn’t get any long term family planning services but now I am thoroughly trained!" Read more stories.

Marie Stopes International's insight:
People commonly associate franchising with chains like McDonalds, but it is also changing the face of health in the developing world. In countries where the public health system is not strong, people already visit private health clinics and pharmacists for their health needs. So it makes good sense to make a wide range of contraception, support and advice available at them too. The way we do this is through social franchising – or franchising for a good cause rather than profit. Read more stories.
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Day 4: our team members in Senegal talk about their work and how it improves lives

Day 4: our team members in Senegal talk about their work and how it improves lives | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

Oumou: "To me, being a midwife is a noble profession. It is not always easy, you witness a lot of suffering. Many people here struggle to raise large families amid grinding poverty."

Read more stories from our team.

Marie Stopes International's insight:
Three team members from Senegal who helped run the beach activity we profiled earlier in the 12 months in 12 days series tell us about how they came to work for Marie Stopes International, and how their work improves the lives of women and men in Senegal.
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Day 3: students talk sex and contraception on campus

Day 3: students talk sex and contraception on campus | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

Lamine: "I loved the free HIV testing. AIDS destroys lives, so awareness is important. Young people are the future, so it’s fundamental that we are well informed about sexual health.” Read stories from more students. 


Marie Stopes International's insight:

Events such as our university information days can help to break down the barriers, get young people talking about contraception, and assure them that if they want 100% confidential support and advice, they can come to Marie Stopes International. We always get a lot of new ideas from the students in terms of how we can best meet their needs. Read more student stories.

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Day 2: more photos from the beach

Day 2: more photos from the beach | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

"Many young people hanging around here are completely ignorant about sex and family planning. The people from Marie Stopes were very cool and told us that we can always call them in case we need help or advice." View the full Flickr gallery.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

Some of our team in Senegal took the sexual health information and services they provide out of the clinic and down to where young people are: the beach. 


Here's a Flickr gallery with some more of the photos of the day.

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Day 1: My unsafe abortion, by Anonymous

Day 1: My unsafe abortion, by Anonymous | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“I realize my story must sound crazy. I’m only 24 years old, unmarried still, and yet I have already had two abortions." Click to read the full story.

Marie Stopes International's insight:
The woman who shares her story here asked us not to use her real name.

Unsafe abortion is a major global public health concern. Thirteen percent of all maternal deaths annually – 47,000 women – are due to complications resulting from unsafe abortion. 

Given the lack of access to family planning in Senegal, many women have unwanted pregnancies and turn to dangerous methods to terminate the pregnancy.
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Day 11: the benefits of long-acting contraception

Day 11: the benefits of long-acting contraception | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“Family planning is very important for Senegal. The more people use it, the faster the country will develop. There is a lot of demand for it these days, which is quite a change." Read more.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

Since we opened our doors in Senegal just over a year ago, being able to get access to the full range of contraceptives is becoming a reality for some women. Today, we speak to Amy and Astou about the long-acting methods of contraception they chose to get from Marie Stopes International.

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Day 10: family planning in your twenties - more photos

Day 10: family planning in your twenties - more photos | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

"I’ve decided to take an implant.It will protect me from pregnancy for five years, and that is just what I need. I want to take good care of my children, and that’s hard enough with five mouths to feed. See more photos.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

In Senegal women can find themselves still in their twenties with many more children than they would have wished, if they’d had the choice. This is perpetuated by the value the community here places on big families – many children are thought to demonstrate the man’s virility and the woman’s fertility, ensure income for the family, and ensure parents are well looked after in their old age. Read more.

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Day 9: misoprostol in action

Day 9: misoprostol in action | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“Everybody in the Senegalese health sector should get familiar with Misoclear, because it’s an excellent medicine." Read more stories.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

Today, we hear from more health professionals about how Misoclear (Marie Stopes International’s brand of misoprostol) is changing lives. 

Read their stories.

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Day 7: losing a daughter in Senegal

Day 7: losing a daughter in Senegal | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“Only the third triplet, little Khadija Seny, has survived this nightmare. I pray to God almighty every day that He will not take her away from me. She is all that I have left.”

Read Oumy's story.

Marie Stopes International's insight:
A big part of what we do at Marie Stopes International is working to increase access to a drug called misoprostol. Misoprostol can be used to prevent and treat post-partum haemorrhage (severe blood loss after labour) and provide post-abortion care, a lifesaving treatment suffering from complications after unsafe abortion. Post-partum haemorrhage and unsafe abortion cause 25% and 13% of annual global maternal deaths respectively. Sadly, misoprostol wasn't available in Senegal when Oumy's daughter Seny gave birth.
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Day 6: more photos of BlueStar family planning clients

Day 6: more photos of BlueStar family planning clients | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

“All women I know, myself included, have been wishing for a clinic like this. Finally, finally we all have easy access to contraception!"
View more photos.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

Here, we talk to three women who have benefited from the family planning services their local clinic has been able to provide for them, since the clinics joined our BlueStar network. View more photos.

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Day 5: more photos from our BlueStar network

Day 5: more photos from our BlueStar network | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

"It feels good to become part of the BlueStar network. I am sure that it will bring many customers to our clinic. After all, at the moment we don’t offer family planning services yet, although there is certainly a big demand for them in this neighbourhood." View more photos.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

Many small private providers may already offer family planning, but usually only short term options like the pill and condoms. However if they join our BlueStar network we provide them with access to affordable, high quality longer term methods like implants and IUDs, and ongoing training in a range of sexual and reproductive health services and counselling. View more photos.

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Day 4: see more photos of our team

Day 4: see more photos of our team | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

Fambaye: "Being a midwife has always been my vocation. I was born with a passion for this profession. As a young girl, all I wanted as birthday presents were medical kits."

Read the stories and see photos of Fambaye, Oumou and Bernadette.

Marie Stopes International's insight:
Without our 8,500 team members across the world, we couldn’t help to meet the needs of the 222 million women who want, but can’t access contraception.
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Day 3: more photos from our university education day

Day 3: more photos from our university education day | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

Babacou: "Although sexuality is still a big taboo here in Senegal, young people are very keen to discuss it. And they should. It really struck me, for example, how many students don’t know how getting pregnant works."

View the Flickr gallery to hear from all the students.

Marie Stopes International's insight:

The most common thing that students tell us is that young people fear disapproval from their community if they are found with contraception (and therefore having sex outside of marriage) far more than they fear the risks of having an unsafe abortion if they become pregnancy unexpectedly. View the full Flickr gallery.

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Day 2: young people talk sex, stigma and contraception

Day 2: young people talk sex, stigma and contraception | 12 months in 12 days: our first year in Senegal | Scoop.it

Thiki: “Talking about sex is a taboo here. Sex outside of marriage doesn’t exist: officially, that is – because of course it happens. Youngsters here want to live life to the fullest just like people anywhere." Read more. 

Marie Stopes International's insight:

Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people is really important to us because to a large extent, the future of young people in the developing world is determined by whether they can access contraception or not.

In each country we work in we talk to young people to identify what the barriers are to them accessing contraception: in Senegal stigma came up time and time again. Some of our team took the information and services they provide out of the clinic and down to where young people are: the beach. This is what they found.

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