Kenya and Indonesia, with the assistance of Jhpiego, are reinvigorating their post-pregnancy FP services through the PPFP Choices project. Health care providers offer women who have given birth a broad range of contraceptive services before they leave the hospital or health center. Skilled FP counselors can help women select a contraceptive method that’s right for them and their family.
The experience of India in reintroducing the postpartum intrauterine device (IUD), a long-acting but reversible FP method, offers the premier example of sustained growth in meeting women’s reproductive health needs. The high quality and availability of PPFP services supported by Jhpiego have generated an astounding response from women. So much so that the government has more than tripled its investment in PPFP since Jhpiego first began working with public health facilities on this maternal health initiative.
Afghanistan is another country where Jhpiego is working in innovative and culturally sensitive ways to address unmet FP needs. Women in Afghanistan have an average of five children and, in this tradition-bound society, husbands and mothers-in-law often are the decision-makers on how many children a family should have. In partnership with the government, an FP advocacy campaign was launched on the benefits of healthy birth spacing. Roadside billboards were placed in populated areas with messages educating families on the health benefits of birth spacing for mom and baby, the risks of giving birth at a young age and the happiness related to use of an FP method.
In 700 health facilities across the country, the Helping Mothers and Children Thrive (HEMAYAT) project taught health care providers the approaches to counseling families on PPFP options and techniques for IUD insertion. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, the project collaborated with women’s groups, religious leaders, youth, private schools and university teachers to build understanding and increase acceptance of healthy birth spacing and long-acting methods.
In conjunction with the country’s national FP strategy, the health facilities supported through the HEMAYAT project began offering postpartum IUDs for the very first time, and more than 2,300 women have accepted this long-acting method.
Dr. Feruzuddin Feroz, Afghanistan’s Minister of Public Health, praised the effort at a national meeting of FP stakeholders: “These activities improved reproductive health indicators and reduced maternal and child mortality rates significantly.’’