Community health workers can meet women in their homes to provide accurate information, counseling, and contraceptives. This intimate service provision allows women and men to decide for themselves, perhaps for the first time, the number, timing, and spacing of their children.
Like many Eastern European countries in the early 1990s, Romania had a history of low contraception use and a high rate of abortion. Starting in 1999, progress accelerated dramatically thanks to a number of critical and complementary interventions; a national health insurance scheme, the privatization of health providers, extensive policy change, training to enable more providers to offer family planning services, and a heavy focus on rural access.
JSI worked with twelve publicly-funded family planning sites to increase access to most and moderately effective methods of contraception at these sites. This was accomplished through an eight-month national learning collaborative that included monthly online learning sessions.
Since 2006, the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, implemented by JSI, has worked in coordination with governments and international and local partners in over 72 countries to achieve universal access to family planning by strengthening health commodity supply chains and the policy environments that support them. In each country, we have had an impact. Over the life of the project, commodities shipped by the project have averted an estimated 79.4 million unwanted pregnancies, prevented more than 200,000 maternal deaths, and averted more than 1.2 million child deaths.
As we commemorate World Contraception Day 2016, we must note that approximately 225 million women worldwide still lack access to a modern method of contraception. Increasing access to family planning was a premier goal of the Millennium Development Goals, and if we are to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals and the FP2020 goal of reaching 120 million new users of contraception in the world’s poorest 69 countries, we must provide people with readily available contraception.
Since 2012, 24.4 million more women and girls are accessing modern contraception, bringing the total to 290.6 million users in the 69 FP2020 focus countries. Yet as we take time to celebrate these gains for women and girls, we know that there are still places in the world where a woman’s choice to use those contraceptives is not a given. As of 2015, 10 million fewer women and girls have been reached with lifesaving contraception than we had hoped by this time. Continuing at this pace means that millions of women and girls will not receive the family planning services and supplies they need to support their fundamental right to make decisions about their reproductive health. JSI’s Leslie Patykewich looks at the gains that have been made in ensuring women and girls have access to contraceptive information, services and supplies, and ways to address the barriers that are still faced.
In order to prevent stockouts, program managers, analysts, and advocates must understand when and where stockouts are occurring. This can happen most effectively when stockouts are reported in a consistent way.
A recent Lancet editorial invokes the concept of ‘contraceptive security’ to argue the case for strengthened health workforces. However, Chris Wright points out that the editorial neglects to mention the role of strong supply chains in achieving contraceptive security.
Training workshops on family planning logistics for members of faith-based organizations resulted in the development of a two-year supply chain strategy and helped forge valuable connections between the organization and public sector partners in Cameroon.
JSI’s Nancy Harris explains that if access to contraception is a human right and programs aim for the maximum variety in choice of methods, then vasectomy must be part of the mix in mature family planning programs.