Project Lead(s): Andrew MacNab
This project serves a need identified in Afghan refugee camps for information and assistance in family planning. Afghanistan has high rates of maternal and infant mortality, particularly in refugee camps, where limited health services are combined with a lack of family planning education and counselling.
The goal of smaller families is shared by both men and women but knowledge is lacking and, by custom, men make health decisions relating to women accessing health services. The project focusses, therefore, on improving men’s knowledge and attitudes, a departure from the conventional but largely unsuccessful approach of trying to reach and teach women.
Engaging men’s groups in camps, this Vancouver-based project group promotes the financial and health benefits of family planning, endorsed by respected elders and imams, helping to foster attitudinal change, greater spousal dialogue, and women’s access to family planning services and supplies.
The project will also aim to improve the health of mothers by reducing mortality from unwanted pregnancies, decreasing chronic anemia, improving the breastfeeding of infants, and increasing mother-infant interaction.