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The CHAMPION Photo/Story Project

Inspiring social change through male involvement in health

In 2008, the CHAMPION Project set out to find role models – champions – across Tanzania who could positively demonstrate that men’s involvement in achieving better health was not only possible but desirable. The project hosted focus groups, conducted district assessments, and engaged community leaders, asking the common question: “Which man in your community stands out because of his efforts to promote the health of his family or community?”

In each place, the names of a few men were mentioned over and over again. At specially arranged community meetings, the men identified made a presentation about their lives, their motivations and their efforts to promote better health. And after hearing their testimonies, each community chose one of the men as their local champion.

Then, CHAMPION Photo/Story Project introduced these twelve local champions to a national audience. Their stories and pictures, presented in a beautiful photo essay, can be downloaded here (PDF, 744kb).

Today, an estimated 215 million women worldwide want to avoid pregnancy and plan their families but are not using modern contraception. Family planning does more than help women and couples limit their family size: It safeguards individual health and rights, preserves natural resources, and can improve the economic outlook for families and communities. Family planning also saves lives; up to one third of all maternal deaths and illness could be prevented if women had access to contraception.

The need for quality family planning services is all the more urgent today because more than 1 billion young people aged 15-24 are entering their reproductive years, guaranteeing an enormous surge in population growth through 2050. Eighty percent of these young people live in the developing world.

EngenderHealth in Action

Across the globe, EngenderHealth has proven that even in resource-poor settings, family planning services can be safe, effective and affordable. EngenderHealth partners with governments, national health systems, community organizations, policymakers, and health care providers to:

  • Improve the safety, efficacy, and quality of family planning services
  • Expand contraceptive options for clients
  • Ensure that clients are making informed choices
  • Build upon strong family planning services by adding reproductive health services needed by clients, such as HIV and AIDS, and antenatal and obstetric care
  • Ensure there is continuing financial and social investment in family planning

One of EngenderHealth’s key accomplishments in family planning is bringing new contraceptive technologies to low-resource areas, specifically ensuring that long-acting and permanent contraceptive methods are part of the range of contraceptive methods available to clients. Long-acting and permanent methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants, female sterilization, and vasectomy are safe, convenient, and cost-effective—yet, they are highly underutilized and are the least obtainable.

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