180300 Providing reproductive health education to men in the Tijuana, Mexico prison system

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blanca Lomeli, MD , Medicina Social Comunitaria, Tijuana, Mexico
Within the Mexican culture family health care is mostly considered a woman's responsibility. Interventions are needed to activate men to care for themselves and their families and to facilitate awareness of the role they can play in improving their own and their family's health. Men in prison also benefit from these types of interventions. However, interventions with men in prison to increase their reproductive health responsibility and reduce violence with a gender equity focus are few and far between. Project Concern International/Mexico carried out such an effort at the Cereso La Mesa prison facility located in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. PCI created an educational manual covering 10 sessions entitled Como Hacer Un Hombre (How To Make a Man) through a community participatory process. These sessions were delivered in small group settings with inmates. The tools used included brainstorming on male characteristics to develop a “male” profile including gender differences. Other techniques included storytelling and role playing to facilitate discussion of cultural, family and societal influences that shaped them as men. These sessions created space for inmates to reflect on their “male” experiences. A total of 248 men participated in the intervention. Through these facilitated sessions men were able to identify opportunities for change that would benefit them and their families. As a result men committed to personal changes to enable them to be a better husband, father, brother and a better man. Participants demonstrated increased awareness of rights and responsibilities from a gender perspective.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the need to use non-traditional platforms to provide reproductive health services to vulnerable populations 2. Identify at least three creative strategies to reach vulnerable populations 3. Develop creative reproductive health education strategies that target specific vulnerable populations including immigrants and adolescents

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director for the project presented in the abstract. In addition, I am a physician with many years of experience addressing reproductive health in vulnerable populations on the US/Mexico border.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.