Namakau Nyambe and Kidest Hagos: Developing a Proposal for Post-Abortion Care

Sarah McKee

Project Associate

Namakau Nyambe, a member of the East Africa Women's Mentoring Network (Photo: Sarah Lindsay).This blog is the third in a series featuring the stories of the mentors and mentees in the East Africa Women’s Mentoring Network. An online network, the East Africa Women's Mentoring Network provides emerging women leaders in East Africa with access to experienced mentors for active support in professional and personal development related to family planning and reproductive health. The Mentoring Network's results will be presented next month at the International Conference on Family Planning. Leading up to the conference, this blog series will share one mentor/mentee pair’s story each week. This week features mentor Namakau Nyambe of Zambia and her mentor Kidest Hagos of Ethiopia.  

Namakau Nyambe learned about the East Africa Women’s Mentoring Network through an email she received as part of the IBP Initiative’s mailing list. She browsed the website and “was impressed by what the mentorship was likely to offer in the way of knowledge on family planning and reproductive health, and gender,” She said. “I registered almost immediately.”

Namakau works in the research unit at the FHI360 Zambia office. Her research is cross-cutting and includes HIV/AIDS and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. While some of her work has focused on family planning, this is a topic Namakau wanted more experience and knowledge in. “I do a bit of family planning. I thought being a mentee for a year would give me more exposure to more issues related to family planning and reproductive health and help me to keep abreast of current trends.” 
Namakau chose Kidest Hagos as her mentor based on their common interests. Kidest works at Pathfinder International as the Deputy Country Representative in Ethiopia; she is a medical doctor with many years of experience in public health, specifically reproductive health as she previously worked as a Reproductive Health Specialist for USAID Ethiopia. Utilizing her impressive experience, Kidest has been working with Namakau for the past 9 months to increase her knowledge on family planning and reproductive health and supporting her in achieving her main goal of creating a proposal for her organization.
“One of my goals involved finding a gap in some of the family planning work that my organization is doing. But I decided to focus on health provider roles in post abortion care and post abortion contraceptives in Zambia. This is because  I found that there was a gap in post abortion care and post abortion contraceptives,” Namakau said. “The problem is that many women are going for abortion again and again because post abortion family planning is not given. I developed the first draft of the proposal and sent it to my mentor. Right now, I am working on the feedback and comments that I got back from her.”
Kidest is excited by the work her mentee has accomplished. “Namakau has picked a very sensitive and important topic of post-abortion family planning that is needed in most African countries.”
Namakau hopes the proposal will “open the minds of the people working in that area in the Ministry of Health to see what they can do to help post abortion care in the way of family planning.”