On July 14th, I attended the “Expanding Access to LARCs and Permanent Methods through Task Sharing” event in Washington, DC. Hosted by Population Services International (PSI) through the SIFPO2 Project, the full-day meeting featured a wide range of experts discussing challenges and solutions related to task sharing for implants, IUDs, female sterilization, and vasectomy.
On July 14, I attended the Washington, DC, SIFPO2 Project event “Expanding Access to LARCs and Permanent Methods through Task Sharing.” While HC3 does work to increase youth access to long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCs), and task sharing is something certainly on our collective radar as a promising practice in family planning (FP), HC3 hasn’t yet worked specifically on FP task sharing. I took with me to the event, therefore, one open-ended question: What role can social and behavior change communication (SBCC) play in task sharing for better FP outcomes?
Through FP Voices, K4Health, FP2020, and our partners document and share stories from individuals around the world who are passionate about family planning. Many of you have supported our efforts by participating in an interview and portrait session, visiting the FP Voices installation at global conferences, or reading and sharing FP Voices stories. With your help, we have collected more than 200 stories from more than 40 countries.
This week, the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) movement will turn four. With only four years left to accomplish its ambitious goal of reaching an additional 120 million with access to lifesaving contraceptives, this is a pivotal moment to appreciate progress and acknowledge the challenges that line the path to 2020.
I was excited when I was invited to participate in the Knowledge Management Share Fair, which took place from April 13th to 15th, 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania. I knew the Share Fair would not only enhance my knowledge on the use of different knowledge management techniques and tools, but would also provide me opportunities to build new working relationships with participants from other countries.
Twelve years ago, I sat in a waiting room in a small clinic on the outskirts of Byumba, Rwanda, and listened as one man after another stood up and asked the nurse at the front of the room what methods of family planning they could use, as men. The nurse had just completed a presentation of different family planning methods, and these men were hungry for an option besides condoms, the only male method available at that facility. It was powerful and moving to witness men who wanted to directly engage in family planning, not just as supportive partners, but as users themselves.
In addition to being one of the most effective forms of contraception available, the LNG-IUS has important non-contraceptive benefits. Photo courtesy of FHI 360.
Over the past several months, K4Health has been shining a spotlight on LARCs, which stands for long-acting reversible contraceptives. While LARCs offer multiple advantages—they are highly effective, long-acting and cost-effective, and fertility returns quickly after removal—the term is actually a bit misleading. The acronym implies that a multitude of family planning methods fit within that broad category. But the truth is that that only two general types of methods meet the LARC definition: contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Ann Masese, one of ECSA’s KM Champions, presenting at the knowledge café on after action reviews. Read her handout and browse other resources from the Share Fair in the event document repository.
As a Knowledge Management Advisor on the K4Health Project in East Africa, I have been seconded to the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community Secretariat based in Arusha, Tanzania. My responsibility as a KM advisor is to help strengthen KM capacity at the ECSA-HC and the East African Community’s Secretariats.
Contraceptive implants are available to more women around the world than ever before, thanks in large part to the Implant Access Program (IAP), a collaboration among several donor agencies, governments, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), and the makers of the contraceptive implants Jadelle® (Bayer HealthCare AG) and Implanon®/Implanon NXT® (Merck/MSD) to lower the products’ unit price by 50% for the world’s poorest countries. Since the launch of the IAP in 2013, 25.2 million implants have been purchased under this price reduction. Corresponding increases in implant use reported in national surveys such as the Performance, Monitoring & Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) indicate that women are taking advantage of the new found accessibility of affordable implants. Prevalence of implant use among married women has increased by 39% and 44% in Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively, in the last two years, and implants are currently the most commonly used method in Burkina Faso.