Nkuriza Project: Contraceptive methods, between rumors and misinformation in Bubanza

Women who use family planning methods in Bubanza Province are estimated at 29%. This rate is considered too low by administrative and health officials. In order to break the rumors related to contraceptive methods, the ACORD-IPROSARUDE group, which implements the activities of the early childhood and population control project “nkuriza”, organized a provincial social dialogue session between the actors, religious leaders, members of the provincial food security and nutrition platform PPSAN, in the capital of Bubanza Province from April 26 to 27, 2023, the executives of the provincial health office and their focal points, the Heads of Health Districts and their focal points, the communal administrators, the Heads of services of the provincial office of the environment, agriculture and breeding, the Antenna of the Plan, the Director of the Communal Hospital, the Representatives of Religious Confessions, the Provincial Commissioner of Police and the journalists on Family Planning

According to the Director of the Provincial Health Office, Dr. Joelle Bigirimana, the “nkuriza” project comes as a response because sensitizations and trainings will be given in order to see how to increase the rate of adherence to family planning. She indicates that the low rate of participation in contraceptive methods is explained by rumors and unverified statements associated with the effectiveness and consequences of these products.

Dr. Jean Pierre Ndayirukiye, an expert in family planning and Executive Director of the Iprosarude association, says that people should not refuse contraceptive methods for fear of side effects. He adds that any drug in the human body has side effects that vary from one organism to another, which does not mean that the product is dangerous.

“Before the administration or use of these methods, women are given an educational talk that presents the available contraceptive methods. At the end of this talk, each woman chooses the method that suits her and the health worker gives further explanations on the chosen method”.

Religious denominations that promote natural family planning explain that this method encourages a sharing of responsibility between spouses, the valuing of “other forms of relationship between them other than the physical union” and the acceptance of the need for these methods. Father François Xavier Nizigiyimana of the diocese of Bubanza says that some women see hormonal methods primarily as a liberation of the man and not the woman. According to him, natural methods allow the involvement of men in family planning, encouraging “dialogue and mutual respect.  “These methods are natural and therefore manage to improve the physical and psychological relations of the couple. The natural methods give the possibility to deeply respect the physiological dynamism of the man and the woman as well as their freedom and dignity as a person”, says the Abbot.  The frequency of sexual union is similar between those who use a natural method and those who use another form of contraception.

All participants in this social dialogue agreed to let the beneficiaries choose the method in order to increase the demand.

                                                                                    E. Allickan Niragira