By Jennifer Quigley, Frist Global Health Leader
This was the first day of fieldwork. We taught the Standard Days Method to over 80 people in a couple of different sessions. The first group that participated in the study consisted of 12 providers, who were health agents, nurses, and physicians. This lesson went really well. The enthusiasm of the group was palpable and the discussion was enlightening.
Many cultural barriers to the study were identified as well. For instance, the formal teaching language is French. I had previously translated all of the pretests and posttests to Haitien Creole, which is not a language commonly read by formally educated people, though it is the language that is spoken. With some coaching and translation, we were able to work through these barriers without compromising the study.
Each provider indicated verbally after the lesson how much it meant to be educated in matters that are so important to them, such as fertility, because the town is rural and does not have resources to provide other methods of contraception. Each indicated that the pace and the layout of the lesson plan made it easy to understand and grasp the concept of fertility awareness, something of which each had heard, but did not fully understand.
After this lesson, the whole town of Robillard had heard we were there to teach a form of natural family planning and was interested to learn. After teaching the providers, we taught about 70 members of the community, including high school students, teachers, and “wise-women,” who are the towns’ traditional midwives. The response to the teaching was overwhelmingly positive, and it was a lot of fun teaching the women and hearing how each planned to use the information in her life.
Teaching high school students age 14-21 the fertility cycle
School teachers and "wise women" - the town's traditional midwives