Friends of Nigeria (FON) makes a difference for partner DOVENET

Prior to FON’s General Annual Meeting in Pennsylvania in 2018, our recipient DOVENET provided a detailed report on the group’s activities. FON is pleased to be a supporter of this organization, which is contributing in vital ways to Women’s Health in Nigeria.


Brief background:

DOVENET with the support of Friends of Nigeria (FON) – Fistula Initiative implementing in  five(5) Local Government Areas(LGAs) of Ebonyi State- (Onicha, Afikpo North, Afikpo South, Ebonyi, Ohaukwu LGAs). In order to enhance community understanding and prevention practices on Vesico Vaginal Fistula.(VVF).DOVENET Team and its volunteers supported by Friends of Nigeria(FON)-Fistula Initiative Project conducted Community Town-hall Meetings/Dialogues, Movie Screenings/Edutainment, Review Meetings, Cohort Mentoring, Facility Visits, Church Outreaches, supportive supervision, House-to-House Sensitization (home visits) in three wards each of the Five(5)Local Government Areas(LGAs)of implementation in Ebonyi state in the month of JULY 2018; also, some other activities (Church outreaches, Town hall meeting, and community dialogue) was also conducted solely done by the project trained community volunteers.

Activity details:

Community Dialogue: DOVENET_FON-Fistula Initiative trained community volunteers were supported by DOVENET Project Team to conduct community dialogue meetings at the various wards of implementation in each of the five(5) LGAs. An activity which is held with community stakeholders discussed on issues and challenges around maternal health, and those who are mostly affected are women and pregnant mothers, he observed that most women deliver children with assistance of untrained delivery workers and traditional birth attendants(TBAs), and it is important for women to in a health facility where there are adequate and skilled health workers for the sound health of the baby and the mother, which will help reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. The stakeholders developed action points on how women especially pregnant mothers will be assisted to access quality healthcare in the community/facility by paying for ANCs and Birth Deliveries from the village saving schemes thereby taking quality ownership of their health. The stakeholders also expressed their gratitude to Friends of Nigeria (FON) on the Fistula Initiative for the awareness created and safe delivery of pregnant mothers and women of reproductive health.. The discussion started initiated by the village head. From the dialogue meetings organized a total of 250people was reached (111M, 139F).


Town hall meeting: In this month of July 2018; as part of the health promotional activities, DOVENET supported the community volunteers in organizing two(2) town hall meetings at the various wards of implementation in each of the 5(five) LGAs, at this meeting, DOVENET used the avenue to educate the community members on Child Spacing/Family planning, Ante-Natal Care(ANC), Birth Preparedness as part of preventive measures to Fistula, participants to the meetings were also educated on OBSTETRIC FISTULA as one of the major maternal health issues, its major causes, preventions, availability of support, care and treatment, re-integration. Also, participants were also sensitized on the need to and deliver at a chosen health facility. Importance of girl child education, Female Genital Mutilation, Early marriage, Rape, Gender Based Violence, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), delays to accessing care during labor,  Male involvement, and negative impact of stigma and discrimination of women faced with fistula and were urged to support and care for each other even to a pregnant woman from the pregnancy stage to the delivery to ensure safe delivery. Also during the session myth and misconceptions regarding child spacing/family planning were explained and demystified. Finally, community members asked questions regarding general maternal health issues. At the end of the meeting, messages on awareness on risk factors and prevention of obstetric fistula were shared. The meeting has a total of 2851 people (1008M, 1843F) who attended the meetings at various wards.

Community Health Edutainment/ Movie Screening:

Friends of Nigeria (FON) on the Fistula Initiative Project supported DOVENET to carry out a fusion of education and entertainment to create social change in the area of Obstetric Fistula, ANC, Prolonged and Obstructed labor(P/OL),Family Planning, Girl Child Education, Early Marriage and other general MH issues. The award winning movie “DRY” was shown and community organized health dramas

This approach and tool is to bring about social change and change overt behaviors among MoRA and WoRA . This community activity was done in 10 locations across 5LGAs of Ebonyi State.

At the end of these innovative channels/activities, this approach created resonance among community members, there was dialogue, action and reflection, social learning, self and community efficacy, peer engagement to ensure feedback,

The movie screening/drama had huge success, as it built audience participation, owing to the use of colloquial and identifiable dialect which resulted in establishing an instantaneous and direct rapport with the community, also the community drama was a viable tool to impart didactic messages in an entertaining manner. During this activity, a total of 2315 people (770M, 1545F) were reached.

Home Visits:

One of the impact activity to FON-Fistula Initiative Project, is to reach every household with prevention, intervention messages and be able to reach out one on one with the targeted audience (women of reproductive age, Pregnant mothers) so as to monitor pregnancy, ensure delivery at the health facility, access to Child spacing and identify women with issues of fistula for immediate referral, treatment and supportive care services.

DOVENET in this month of July 2018; under review, conducted House to house sensitization to 510HHs, supporting the project trained Ward Development Committee members (WDC) in the Five (5), LG 3wards each of implementation to reach members of these household with the right messages.

On course of this activity, members of the households 15-49years were reached with Fistula messages, Child Spacing messages, Male involvement, Birth preparedness; sessions which were interactive and educating, exposed most of the household members on the need to make adequate preparation before delivery, and the importance of prompt ANC attendance and adherence to counseling, the men began to understand the implication of their negative attitudes towards the women and what it could lead to. As the activity was unfolding, DOVENET recorded a total of 19women for Child Spacing Method, 7pregnant women who are almost due for delivery to get registered at a health center, 15 pregnant women to start ANC, 7women were also identified to having Prolapse, and 9fistula patients were identified and 3women were mobilized to access Fistula treatment and care at the National Obstetric Fistula Centre Abakaliki. A total of 2002 (727M, 1275F)

Supportive Supervision

As part of program quality assurance, supportive supervision was made by DOVENET project implementation team to the implementation sites, to provide technical support, promote mentorship, and communication to the trained volunteers. This supportive supervision was also implemented to improve routine program monitoring and evaluation

In this month of JULY 2018 under review supportive visit was made to (2)two wards in Ogbu in Afikpo South LGA, Enohia Itim in Afikpo North LGA and Okpodoma in Ebonyi LGA of Ebonyi state, reaching 9 Community volunteers with quality mentoring, support and guidance.


Cohort Mentoring:

Cohort mentoring was an activity initiated to drive IPC strategy, educate & reach women, men, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers simultaneously with Fistula messages, FP and ANC messages and Male involvement, also it was a forum to build the capacity of pregnant mothers and establish a network towards easy access to ANC and FP services. However; in this month of July, each WDC enrolled maximum of 20cohort member of a selected target and reach them three times in the month before counting them reached and they were graduated in collaboration with DOVENET project staff.


During the sessions, lots of questions in respect to fistula and family planning were raised of which DOVENET team at the activity were able to clear their doubts, fears and misconceptions. During their graduation, DOVENET project team in collaboration with Senior health workers at the various LGA of implementation made more emphasizes on the messages provide to them by the WDC, while some women had immediate access to Family planning. A total of 975 persons (M243, F732) were reached.

Facility Visits:

As part of collaborative efforts, DOVENET in the month of July 2018, conducted facility visits to 10health facilities, 2facility per LG, this was to get the health workers buy in to the program so as to support the WDC in their various wards in disseminating messages on fistula prevention, treatment and care, also to find out the strength of the facility in conducting family planning exercises, which include, counseling and post counseling and choice of FP methods, and to help them develop a record book which will help in keeping records of women identified facing the challenges of fistula.

During this activity, DOVENET Project team appraised the activities of the facilities so as to ensure performance, proficiency, competency of staff and availability of resources, personnel and maternal health services. Linkages were also made with the community leaders and health facility staff.

Church Outreaches:

This activity were carried out in four(4) churches in Four(4) Local Government Areas(LGA).The objective of this activity To increase the knowledge of the community people and Faith Based Community about VVF; its causes and prevention, the need for ante natal care, danger signs of pregnancy and the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Family Planning, etc. Identify women who have fistula and determine next steps to take to ensure repair, To actively involve the trained WDCs and other community members to adopt healthy habits about reproductive health. 4,502 Persons (M1875, F2627) were reached with Fistula Prevention messages.


Review Meetings: In this month of JULY 2018, DOVENET used this forum of Review meeting to meet with the Community Volunteers at their various ward of implementations, where discussions on activity implemented was done, challenges, successes and recommendations were made also, volunteers records were validated and collated for reporting. Also, the project team emphasized on the key messages and use of the reporting tools.

A total of 45 Community volunteers were reached at this meeting, in 15wards of 5LGAs of Project implementation.

Client mobilization:

In this month of July; nine (9) Fistula positive screened clients were identified and  three (3) mobilized to National Obstetric Fistula Centre (NOFIC), also two (2) received treatment and surgery.

1 Ukamaka Nwabo 30 Ikwo LGA
2 Igwe Ukamaka 28 Omege UmuezekohaEzza North LGA
3 Nwanchor Victoria 29 Ikwo LGA


Key outcomes and achievements

  • Increase awareness Family Planning, Fistula Prevention, Treatment  and Reintegration
  • Support and commitment from  community members, stakeholders and traditional leaders to project intervention
  • Communal ownership of the Friends of Nigeria(FON) Fistula Initiative Project

Next steps

  • ·      Identification, Mobilization and referral of Fistula and Family Planning clients intensified
  • ·      -integration of repaired Fistula Clients
  • ·      Continuous community dialogues/town hall meetings
  • ·      Continuous supportive supervisions and Review Meetings



This month of July2018, a total of 12,820people (4,694M, 8,126F) were reached.were reached during home visit, town hall meetings, dialogue meetings, review meeting and supportive supervision in 3 wards each of 5LGAs of implementation.

Submitted by: Program Officer

Name: Ijeoma Chiemela


Date: 6thAugust, 2018