Maureen Oduor

Maureen Oduor - 2016 Nominee
Position: Development & Gender Specialist
Organization: SHDEPHA- Tanzania
Maureen Oduor, is Development specialist, Women Deliver Young leader, Adolescent SRH&R advocate, peer educator, has influenced 10,000 girls access FP services through her ''Community based FP health Choice supermarket project in Tanzania. – George Abiero, Program Manager at SHDEPHA-Tanzania
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Growing up in abject poverty and victim of abuse made me think differently and start advocating for Family Planning. In 10 years I have Positively reached over 10,000 adolescents girls and young women with FP messages through my Mhealth Mobile Technology project in Tanzania, reaching additional 3000 people with story telling film to challenge status Que around adolescents FP access. As Women Deliver young leader 2013 I represented adolescents and youths in major high level negotiations fora, leading to FP inclusion in SDG 2030 agenda. With support from FP2020 am committed to building FP health choice supermarkets in Tanzania, by building capacities of male FP champions, health providers and adolescents peer educators, reaching 2642 adolescence on new modern FP methods in Tanzania.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I have been inspired by the loose of my best friend to unsafe abortion related complications in high school at 14 years old. I witnesses this girl bleeding to death inside dormitory. This death was due Lack of FP information, inaccessible and adolescence unfriendly services. We lacked choices, control and capacity to make informed decision on when we want to be mothers. I pledged to change this situation to allow adolescents girls to have choices since life is all about choices.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

Dealing with myths and misconceptions remains my key challenge. Wrong information is everywhere and very accessible to youths compared to right correct information on family planning. Use of mobile technology SMS has been very effective to reach out to young people with correct information on family planning, adolescents and youth trust their phones hence they trust information through this media, its affordable,reliable, private and accessible when they need it.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

In Tanzania health policy stipulates that adolescence can only access FP services with parental consent. We are working with the Ministry of health to change this policy and allow for full access. We are gathering political support from the local governments by influencing laws makers to change it at the district level and build power to influence government to act in parliament. We are collecting adolescents voices as they demand for for free full access and we present to policy makers.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I have 5 years plan of reaching at least 100,000 adolescents and young women with Family Planning information and new methods through my Mhealth mobile technology, FP supermarkets and story telling films. Its my plan that we shall celebrate victory in the next 5 years of change in Tanzania Health Policy to allow for free access to services for adolescents. Am planning to organize National Men Family Planning champion movement to bring on board whole community members to advocate for FP for all.

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