FHI 360 | Distinguished Scientist and Director, Contraceptive Technology Innovation
FHI 360's study of user family planning preferences. Photo credit: Reinout Van Den Bergh Photography
Why do women who do not want to get pregnant choose not to use modern family planning methods? While this question is not bounded by geographies, the most recent Guttmacher Institute report, which focused on the low- and middle-income countries, is most illuminating. The two most common answers given by married women were health reasons/side effects or fear of side effects (26%) and claims of infrequent sex or not being sexually active (24%). Among unmarried women, infrequent sex (49%) was the top reason.
Equally informative are recent FHI 360 findings from a user preference study in Uganda and Burkina Faso showing that 75% of women currently using a method would be open to trying new technologies. It quickly becomes clear that existing methods do not satisfactorily address the changing needs of women throughout their 30- to 40-year reproductive journey.
Not to be forgotten, male contraceptive methods remain limited, even though acceptability research indicates that a substantial number of men would use family planning options themselves, if available.
IntraHealth International | Senior Manager, Communications and Knowledge Management
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.
People often tell me I am very ambitious. I’ll admit it. It is true.
Since I was nine years old, I have been telling my father that I will be the first woman president of my country. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is vast — almost the size of an entire continent. And if I were president, I would be able to change so many things for youth, with just my signature.
Mothers wait to see health workers to weigh and vaccinate their children in a clinic in Accra, Ghana. (Kate Holt/MCSP)
Over the past quarter-century, the number of children dying each year has more than halved. Yet in 2016, an estimated 5.6 million children still died before reaching their fifth birthday. Most of these deaths occur from conditions such as pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition, all of which are readily preventable or treatable with cost-effective interventions. This global burden of child deaths is not distributed equally: Higher rates of under-five deaths reflect longstanding underlying causes of disadvantage and persistent inequities in certain regions of the world. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia account for more than 80%, while Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest under-five death rate (79 per 1,000 live births on average in 2016). This means that 1 in 13 children die before their 5th birthday in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 1 in 189 children in high-income countries.
Projet Jeune Leader recruits dynamic young adults to work full-time as sexuality educators, counselors, and mentors to public middle school students in Madagascar's Haute Matsiatra region. Photo: Projet Jeune Leader
We need innovation, not renovation, when it comes to providing youth with comprehensive sexuality education.
Public Health Ambassadors Uganda | Programme Coordinator
PHAU's concert, Famile Pulaningi Mu Ndongo, attracted thousands of people to learn about family planning while having a great time.
Friday, November 24, 2017 got the people of Hoima, Uganda merrymaking and dancing! They turned up in the thousands for a family planning concert organized by Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU). The concert, dubbed Famile Pulaningi Mu Ndongo (a Luganda phrase for the combination of edu-tainment with family planning information and services), was held at the Hoima Booma grounds, where top local artists, comedians, and actors treated the revelers to a night filled with themed musical performances, skits, comedy, and much more.
Marie Stopes Uganda | Marketing and Public Relations Officer
Marie Stopes Uganda's giant puppets are helping spread the word about family planning.
The drive to increase access to family planning in Uganda is gaining pace. In 1989, only one in 20 women in the country was using modern contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy. Today, just one generation later, that figure is almost one in three. But Ugandan women still face barriers. Unsubstantiated fears, stigma, and myths are leading many women to forgo contraception altogether.
Marie Stopes Uganda (MSU), which provides a wide range of short-term, long-term, and permanent contraceptive methods across the country, has been trying to increase awareness to large groups by broadcasting messages and information over loud speakers from mobile vans. But over time, the vans became such a common feature that many people simply ignore them and continue their daily routines without so much as looking up.
EMG Consulting and Multi-Media Inc. | Independent Consultant
Antenatal care exam. Photo: UNICEF.
As the world focuses on ending the AIDS epidemic in children, adolescents, and young women by 2020 as part of the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free Super-Fast-Track framework, programs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) are critical to these efforts. Ninety percent of HIV infections in children under the age of 15 are estimated to occur through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Without antiretroviral therapy (ART), the risk of HIV transmission from a mother living with HIV to her infant varies between 15% and 45%. However, new HIV infections in children from MTCT can be dramatically reduced (to below 5%) by giving mothers ART during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding, and continuing ART for life. Today, ART is the cornerstone of PMTCT programs.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic hit the Caribbean in the late ‘70s. By 2001, it had become the second-most affected region in the world with an estimated 420,000 people – more than two percent of the adult population – living with HIV, according to a UNAIDS/WHO report. That year, a group of Caribbean nations created the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) to help avert new infections and reduce deaths in the region by providing support for universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support services.