Hey guys! So this week has been eventful as it is the Bowen Association of Medical Students (BAMS) Health Week!! 


On Saturday 22nd of April, We had an amazingly successful Community Health Outreach on Saturday at the local market:







It was a huge success, I’m so grateful for my lovely colleagues who turned up ready to work!
Now to the main issue of today’s post, we were lucky enough to successfully partner with Ipas, a world renown body that advocates for sexual and reproductive health rights of women across the globe. Here’s a breakdown of the 2 days of training!



Day One:

The session began with an introduction and ice-breaker session where each participant was invited to introduce themselves by stating their name, something that makes them unique and then they selected a workshop nickname. Next, we set up our ground rules:

Afterwards, a vote was held for the most creative workshop nickname – and the winner was Otabor Emmanuel’s nickname: Workshop!
One of Bowen University’s Consultants in Obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Ogunlaja, was present at the training and he gave a speech on the importance of knowledge of sexual and reproductive health rights, and commended the association for working to put this training together in partnership with Ipas. 
Next, a number of scenarios were told by Mr Oviawe, our Ipas Trainer, two of these went as follows:


Scenario 1: A new couple had a small girl from the village stay with them. The girl started “getting fairer” – she was pregnant for the husband. The participants were asked what would be their response to the situation out of the following options:

⚫️ put up for adoption

⚫️ keep in family

⚫️ terminate or 

⚫️ give the pregnant girl the choice.





The participants then moved to the four points where the signs of the different actions were located, and were given time to deliberate on why they made their choice, before a spokesperson was asked to echo the reasoning of their group’s decision.
In the terminate group, the spokesman mentioned the importance of safe abortion and the psychological effect on the girl as well as the wife who hasn’t had her first child yet as their reason for the choice made.

The next scenario was of wedding night rape – the same options as above were given but females didn’t have the option of being in the choice group as they were to choose right there and then, whilst boys were to choose based on what they would have their wives do in the situation. Girls that changed their option to terminate between scenario one and two were asked to explain their reasoning and most of them said that they feel it’s a much different scenario when put in the position of the victim.
The Lesson drawn out of the highly engaging activity was that men should let the woman choose, and that a woman has the absolute right to her own sexual and reproductive health rights.
Next, the participants were asked what advocacy means to us, and what the difference is between an advocate and an activist. Mr Oviawe then proceeded to present a slideshow titled: Medical Students as Advocates: what and why? Which educated the participants on the basics of advocacy and why it’s important that we medical students take on our role as change makers.


Lastly, refreshments were shared for the participants and we called it a day. Participants were very interactive and conversations on the topics raised during the training were on everyone’s lips as they left the training hall.

IPAS TRAINING DAY 2:



The day began with registration once again and a little ice breaker based on the workshop names selected on the day before. Next, Samuel Abimbade proceeded to introduce the topic of steps to take in advocacy. The participants were divided into four groups and were asked to arrange the steps in order of how they think would be the best way to organize and advocacy plan; afterward, the correct answer was explained.




Mr. Oviawe then proceeded to teach on each step of advocacy planning, including group work to get everyone stimulated.



Next, the tool for advocacy: The Unseen Hands and Consequences of Sexual Violence was taught by means of an engaging, emotional video based on a true life story and a slideshow was presented. The aim of the video and presentation was to drive home that sexual violence doesn’t always present in the popular form that involves physical force, so we should be aware of the other forms.

A few other topics included maternal mortality as a burden in Nigeria and the VAPP Act (Violence Against People Prohibition Act).

Lastly certificates were issued to our lovely participants, and we wrapped up, after two power packed training days.
It was indeed an awesome training and on behalf of BAMS as the Co-coordinator of the community health awareness and training department of the 2017 health week, I’d like to thank everyone that came out – you all made it such a success, I’m glad we could make advocates out of you all :)




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