Supporting 16 Days of Activism campaign

Pictured, from left, are Mareldia Sonday, operations manager of Mitchells Plain Network Opposing Abuse; Sergeant Miriam Booysen, Mitchells Plain police stations domestic violence co-ordinator; Sergeant Patrick Mavume, Mitchells Plain police stations victim support co-ordinator; and Julian Louw, learner support officer for Mitchells Plain Network Opposing Abuse.

Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre (CHC) and several community organisations and services hosted a combined 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign and World Aids Day expo day on Wednesday December 7.

Services available at the event ranged from motor vehicle finance to support groups against violence, HIV testing, and counselling.

A popular table involved family planning, where Fawzia Samuels, a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Leading Safe Choices mentor, demonstrated the use of the female condom.

The UK-based charity initiative aims to strengthen the competence and raise the standing of family planning professionals in South Africa and Tanzania.

In collaboration with colleagues in South Africa and Tanzania, they promote best practices in postpartum contraception and comprehensive abortion care (CAC) in South Africa, and comprehensive post-abortion care (CPAC) in Tanzania.

Ms Samuels said expanding contraceptive choice, particularly long-acting reversible methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, and improving access to safe abortion services dramatically improved the health of women and their children.

She is based at Mitchell’s Plain Midwife Obstetrics Unit (MOU), offering a variety of options and services to young men and women.

Contraception methods advocated at the unit include abstinence, condoms for men and women, the injection, birth control pills, the Implanon implant, IUDs which are inserted into the uterus (womb) by a trained health provider, sterilisation, and the emergency contraception pill, used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex.

The CHC also encourages exclusive breastfeeding for HIV-positive moms to lower the baby’s chances of contracting the virus.

They also distributed “The Golden Bow” – a symbol for breastfeeding protection, promotion and support. The colour (gold) shows that breastfeeding is the gold standard for infant feeding, against which any other alternative should be compared and judged.

The bow carries a special message, as one loop represents the mother, the other the child; the ribbon is symmetrical, conveying the message that the mother and the child are both vital to successful breastfeeding; the knot is the father – the family and society.

Mosaic promoted its Engaging Men and Boys programme, encouraging them to be caring fathers and respectful partners.

They focus on preventing and reducing abuse and domestic violence, particularly for women and children living in disadvantaged communities.

The project aims to motivate men to become more invested partners as well as working towards creating an enabling environment for the women and girls in their lives. Services in this programme include: counselling with men who have used violence in their relationships; training and educational programmes to educate men on gender equality and care giving; and workshops on sexual and reproductive health.

For more information, call 074 183 1857 or visit them at the Thusong Centre, in Kilimanjaro Road in Tafelsig.