Afroja Yesmin

Afroja Yesmin - 2019 Nominee
Position: FIGO-PPIUD Initiative Project Manager - Bangladesh
Organization: Obstetric and Gynaecological Society of Bangladesh
Current Location: Bangladesh, South Asia
Master of Public Health from North South University
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Leadership Certificate in Managerial Communication
Graduate Diploma in Development Studies
B Sc in Microbiology
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Women Deliver Youth Scholarship
    Awarding Organization:
    Women Deliver
    Date Awarded:
    January 19, 2016
75 Public Votes Reached!
Afroja has dedicated her career to family planning. She skilfully leads her team to set up and support post-partum IUD services at facilities across Bangladesh, creating sustainable change and bridging the gap of unmet contraceptive need. – Suzanna Bright, Project Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Coordinator at International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I started my carrier working for family planning researches projects and continued for moreover three years at national level. Using practical knowledge from these projects, I now work in program implementation, identifying strategies targeting government officials (FP and Midwifery cadre) and physicians to increase involvement in family planning program, especially for long term methods. I have identified communication gaps in FP counselling and provided training to field level staff to improve practice. So far from our project, around 1,500 Ob-gyn, nurses and midwives in Bangladesh have been trained in post-partum family planning counselling and post-partum IUD insertion. Also more than 200,000 women has been counseled on PPFP and almost 12,000 women has chosen PPIUD as PPFP method.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

We were five siblings at home and my mom didn't used any method till last delivery. I grew up realizing how this impacted our quality of education and availability of resources in the home. I also saw the negative impact this had on my mother’s health. When I got married in the first year of university, family planning was the catalyst which helped me to continue my study and go after my dream to become a public health worker. It was for these reasons that I decided to work in family planning.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

In my current position I identified that our field staff were following counselling techniques, however their knowledge on basic communication techniques like rapport building were missing and the number of returning women for contraceptive methods was decreasing. Being certified by a leadership certificate in managerial communication, I took initiative and designed an interactive training session for the project’s field staff. This session increased their ability to effectively communicate.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I would use the $1000 grant to conduct a training session on counselling and communication skills for young Ob-Gyn’s to increase their capacity to counsel women on PPFP and also to conduct a small qualitative study on provider perceptions of, experiences with and challenges of providing PPFP services at the facility level. This will help me to improve the design of future PPFP programs and increase the sustainability of such interventions at the health facility level.

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