International Conference on Family Planning 2009

Family Planning: Research and Best Practices

Family Planning’s Frontlines

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More Than Luck

Barbara Kawooya, through Save the Children, is helping to implement a family planning pilot program in Uganda’s Luweero and Nakaseke districts. The program trains community health workers—with no official medical training—to deliver injectable contraceptives to women in their communities. Currently the Ugandan government does not allow non-medical personnel to deliver contraceptives, and Kawooya and her team advocate a revised policy that would allow the community health workers to do so.

“The method of injectables yields very high results, and it is very cost-effective. It can take an whole day for a woman to walk to a health center to get contraceptive—and if she’s lucky the clinic will have them in stock and she can get the service. The community health workers are very effective in this pilot program.”

Helping Village Mothers

A nurse-midwife on the maternity ward at Mbarara Hospital in Uganda, Perry Mwesigwa would like to gain new skills for reducing maternal mortality. She is also a student at the School of Medicine connected to Mulago Hospital in Kampala.

“I work to help those mothers in the villages. I want to go deeper in the community to help these mothers having problems with delivery. … In my own village of Kabuyanda, we do not have enough transport to get women to facilities when they deliver. … Family planning is so important because it will help women space their births, and we must encourage young girls to have later pregnancies. Girls from age 13 to 18 really need this education in school.”

Reaching Out in Bangladesh

Mizanur Rahman works as a doctor in maternal health in Bangladesh, through Engender Health, a country program that supports the public sector in strengthening long-acting, permanent methods of contraception such as sterilization.

“Of course, Bangladesh needs more family planning. Our fertility rate is 2.7 percent. There was a prediction that by 2002 we would reduce fertility to 2.2 percent, but we failed. There is a high discontinuation of temporary contraceptive measures—50 percent—mostly pills and injectables.”

Written by C. Grillo | JHSPH

November 16, 2009 at 9:05 pm

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