HTSP Resources: Announcing New Toolkit and eLearning Course
Healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies is an essential way of creating stronger health outcomes worldwide. It is an approach to family planning service delivery that supports women and couples in making informed decisions about delaying a first pregnancy until age 18, as well as timing and spacing subsequent pregnancies for improved health benefits for both mother and baby. Some researchers have concluded that 1.8 million under-five deaths could be averted annually if all pregnancies were spaced 36 months from the preceding birth.
The Extended Service Delivery Project, a Pathfinder-led USAID project, recently launched the Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy (HTSP) Toolkit on Knowledge for Health while USAID just announced the release of a new HTSP eLearning course.
The ESD Project’s Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy (HTSP) toolkit features an extensive range of resources focusing on essential knowledge for the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to advocacy materials. Heather Forrester of the ESD Project helped lead the toolkit's creation and says that some of the strongest resources “are the advocacy and communication tools, such as the HTSP Counseling Pathways Tool and the How to Educate Clients about the Benefits of Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy DVD." Like many of the toolkit's resources, the DVD is available in multiple languages and can be used at various levels within a health system. The following is an example excerpt from the DVD.
The most popular tool of the HTSP Toolkit is the HTSP Advocacy Powerpoint presentation. Most often used by advocates presenting HTSP to policymakers, decision makers, senior MOH personnel, and clinicians, Heather says, “the slides were designed to be selectively adopted and used based on specific country situations and audiences. One of the greatest attributes of the PowerPoint is that it has been generalized for local adaptability and includes data slides detailing the relationship between pregnancy spacing and health outcomes for women, infants, and children.”
Overall, the HTSP Core Group envisions the toolkit as the primary source of evidence-based knowledge on HTSP and resources for integrating HTSP into existing health and community programs and policies. The ESD Project, which has led the efforts in creating and populating the HTSP Toolkit, will be officially ending soon. However, the Toolkit serves as an electronic library of resources, so people can access the most up-to-date information and materials on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. Plus, an online discussion forum is already in the planning stages to be held in September 2011. The forum will be held through K4H and plans to engage HTSP Core Group members by inviting experts to contribute.
Access the entire HTSP Toolkit on K4Health or users in developing countries with limited Internet access can request this and other K4Health Toolkits on flash drive or CD-ROM by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take an eLearning Course on HTSP
Do you know the magnitude of health problems related to timing and spacing of pregnancies in the developing world? Do you want to know how to add a HTSP approach to your own program? USAID's Global Health eLearning Center recently announced the release of a new eLearning course on Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy.
The course will cover how to implement HTSP strategies into your own programs. One-time registration at www.globalhealthlearning.org will give you free access to this and 50 other courses that cover a variety of global health topics.