Family Planning Workforce

  • Blog post
    Frontline health workers can reassure women about the menstrual bleeding changes they are likely to experience when using contraception.

    Frontline health workers can reassure women about the menstrual bleeding changes they are likely to experience when using contraception. The NORMAL tool provide simple guidance. Photo by Jessica Scranton.

    This piece was originally published by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition.

    Around the world, women often worry about the menstrual bleeding changes they experience when using contraception. This anxiety can be especially pronounced when their menses stop completely – a normal and safe phenomenon called “amenorrhea” – when using certain types of hormonal methods.

    Frontline health workers play a key role in reassuring women about contraceptive-induced menstrual bleeding changes, including amenorrhea. They can also let women know that reduced or no bleeding can have both health and lifestyle benefits for girls and women. Because of the potential advantages of amenorrhea, we think it’s time to embrace and celebrate this potential “side effect” of contraception and re-frame it as a positive method attribute.

  • Blog post
    Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kenya receive family planning training before being sent into the communities where they work.

    Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kenya receive family planning training before being sent into the communities where they work. © 2012 John Kihoro/Tupange (Jhpiego Kenya), Courtesy of Photoshare

    “[Family planning] guidelines might be outdated, not available or the providers might not adhere to the instructions in the guidelines. They might also lack training/mentoring to equip them with updated skills, knowledge and attitude which would have limited or prevented bias.” (Challenges family planning providers may encounter, reported by Olajumoke Onalopo, Netherlands)

    Part of the HIFA Project on Family Planning and Contraception includes hosting thematic discussions on the HIFA email forum. Our first exchange, held throughout September-November 2017, addressed family planning myths and misconceptions. This time, we looked at ways to support family planning providers. We started by asking, "Just who are they?"

    If asked, most people would probably respond that it’s “doctors and nurses” who provide family planning (FP) services. The second HIFA thematic discussion on family planning challenges this view and looks at the many different types of family planning providers and their needs. We learn that “those who provide FP advice and services are a complex, diverse group” (Sarah Harlan, USA).

  • Blog post
    Shahana Begum talks on a mobile phone with a Health Care Center to refer a pregnant mother to the clinic in Mymensingh, Bangladesh.

    Shahana Begum talks on a mobile phone with a Health Care Center to refer a pregnant mother to the clinic in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. © 2010 Sumon Yusuf, Courtesy of Photoshare

    This piece was originally published on Medium.

    Most evidence shows access to quality maternal health services — even the most basic services — requires many personal sacrifices for women and girls around the world, especially in poor or remote communities where there may not be doctors or primary health facilities.

  • Blog post
    Stephanie Coly, a midwife and tutor trained in the Tutorat approach at Sor Health Post and Ms. Fatime Fall Ba, district reproductive health coordinator.

    Stephanie Coly, a midwife and tutor trained in the Tutorat approach at Sor Health Post and Ms. Fatime Fall Ba, district reproductive health coordinator. Photo by Hawa Talla for IntraHealth International.

    This post originally appeared on IntraHealth's blog, VITAL.

    Tutorat—the French word for “tutoring.” Even the name of this training approach shirks the limelight. But it’s hard to argue with results, which are exactly what Tutorat has been delivering for health care in Senegal.

    When I sat down with one of the pioneers of this approach, Dr. Boniface Sebikali, IntraHealth International’s senior clinical advisor, it became clear that Tutorat is something special. It’s quietly revolutionizing health care in Senegal and making higher quality services available to more communities than ever.

  • Blog post
    Trends in modern contraceptive use (mCPR)

    Trends in modern contraceptive use (mCPR). Sources: Track20, Avenir Health (analysis); 2011 Benin Demographic and Health Survey

    This piece was originally published by Frontline Health Workers Coalition.

    Benin — a beautiful, small, Francophone West African country with 11 million inhabitants – has a history of low family planning use due in part to conservative cultural and social norms. With a current unmet need for family planning of 36.3%, and a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) for modern methods of 16.1%, Benin lags behind its sub-Saharan African peers in key reproductive health indicators.

  • Blog post
    Uganda is just one of many countries suffering from a major shortage of health workers. By Will Boase for IntraHealth International.

    Uganda is just one of many countries suffering from a major shortage of health workers. By Will Boase for IntraHealth International.

    This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

    Today there is a global shortage of 7.2 million health workers. The World Health Organization and World Bank estimate that if we’re to have any chance of attaining universal access to health care by 2030, we’ll need to train and deploy 40-50 million new health and social care workers worldwide.

  • Blog post
    A researcher conducts an in-depth interview with a midwife in Kediri, East Java as part of the Improving Contraceptive Method Mix (ICMM) Project in Indonesia. Photo: Universitas Indonesia

    A researcher conducts an in-depth interview with a midwife in Kediri, East Java as part of the Improving Contraceptive Method Mix (ICMM) Project in Indonesia. Photo: Universitas Indonesia

    A broad contraceptive method mix—one that includes long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs)—can significantly improve reproductive health outcomes. The more methods available, the greater the chance that women and couples can find a contraceptive method that meets their needs, whether they are planning to have more children or not.

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on IntraHealth's blog, Vital.

    Here’s something most people don’t know: there is a global shortage of 7.2 million health workers, particularly doctors, nurses, and midwives. We simply don’t have enough of them to go around.

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on BSR's blog.

    “They know what to do.”

    That’s the typical answer when you ask factory managers about whether they spend time managing the nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers in their infirmaries. In reality, factory health staff often do not know what to do, and managers also lack the knowledge needed to oversee health functions.

  • Blog post

    This blog post originally appeared on IntraHealth's blog Vital and on The Huffington Post.

    After the smallpox vaccine and the green revolution, modern contraceptives are one of global development's biggest game-changers.

    It's no coincidence that as global use of modern contraceptives rose from 55% in 1990 to 63% in 2010, global maternal mortality fell by a staggering 45%. In 2013 alone, contraceptives prevented 77 million unintended pregnancies, 24 million unsafe abortions and the deaths of 125,000 women.

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