SAFEZT held its second annual meeting in Zambia October 3rd to 6th.
Researchers from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and Norway gathered outside Lusaka for the second annual meeting of the SAFEZT project. The meeting was hosted by the University of Zambia, School of Public Health in beautiful surroundings. During four intensive days, the participants discussed their ongoing research on fertility control and safe abortion in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. They shared preliminary findings from the different sub-components covering topics varying from availability of medical abortion drugs in Tanzania, student’s experiences with seeking abortion in Ethiopia to experiences from implementation of a comprehensive sexuality education program in Zambian schools.
The meeting included discussions on the use different theoretical frameworks as well as methodological innovations such as the use of an edutainment film made by SAFEZT researcher Thera Mjaaland about sexual and reproductive health and rights for Ethiopian adolescents. New of this year was a small project on access to abortion services in Madagascar lead by Karine Aasgaard Jansen.
On the first day of the meeting, the hosts had invited two external speakers to present the legal status of abortion and the problem of unsafe abortions in Zambia. Assistant Director of Public Health in the Zambian Ministry of Health, Dr. Mwiche, presented his perspectives on the matter and urged the researchers to share their insights with policy makers. Brian Kayongo, Policy and Partnership Lead and Marie Stopes Zambia presented the details of the legal framework on abortion in Zambia.
Throughout the four days, the researchers got to share their experiences both in the conference room and more informally during meals and on morning walks. In addition to the plenary sessions, the researchers met in smaller groups to discuss collaboration and progress.
The annual meeting provided an arena for further strengthening the ties between the partner institutions and its researchers and for planning further collaborations and research endeavors.