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Empowering Women with Choices to Plan Their Futures

Michaelle and Rose at health centerMichaelle and Rose at a community health center to discuss and obtain access to contraception.

In a consulting room, Michaelle Bynike sits at a table at the busy Port-Bouet Health Training Center in Abidjan’s sprawling Youpougon District, one of her three children snugly secured to her back with a blanket.

Michaelle, who also goes by “Mike,” is one of about 20 women who have come to the community health center to receive free contraceptives and family planning advice and counseling.

Services supported by EngenderHealth and the Agir pour la Planification Familiale (AgirPF) program have been offered at Port-Bouet for the past year and improve women’s access to and use of family planning. Health center CEO Bakayako Abdoulaye says it is “well used,” serving women of diverse backgrounds in a 5–6 km radius. 

Twelve full-time midwives and seven physicians staff the center; volunteers built a section dedicated to family planning activities last year. With the goal of maximizing community participation, clinic staff hold monthly meetings with community representatives to ensure the clinic continues to meet their family planning needs, according to Bakayako Abdoulaye.

Michaelle Bynike weighing family planning optionsMichaelle Bynike waits to speak with staff about reproductive health information including contraceptive choices.

Single and with no immediate family of her own, Michaelle says she has no one to help to care for her daughters. “I had six children,” says Michaelle, “Three have survived.” She is determined that they will have a brighter future. 

“I have decided on a [contraceptive] implant for the next five years and possibly for another five after that,” she says, so that her three girls aged 8 months, 2, and 7 can grow up in better conditions.

“I found out about family planning from friends of mine who also use contraceptives. That’s why I am here.”

Rose Konan Contraceptive Options Rose Konan sits with her child awaiting her turn to discuss contraceptive options.

Like Michaelle, Rose Konan, the owner of a start-up business, also opted for an implant. She found out about these local events when she brought her infant in a couple of days ago for a routine vaccination. “Family planning will enable me to work and take care of my kids,” Rose says.

EngenderHealth’s AgirPF program increases informed decision making about family planning and broadens voluntary use by expanding access to, strengthening demand for, and improving the quality of family planning services.

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