• Blog post
    Kele-Kele Shiki: A community health worker uses printed materials to discuss reproductive health

    "It's good when husbands listen to this information together with their wives. It speeds up their decision-making." - Community Health Worker | Image courtesy of

    In 2017, 650,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh in an attempt to escape widespread violence and persecution by the Myanmar army. Most walked for days, even weeks, before finding shelter in the sprawling refugee settlements in the Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh.

    Many refugees lost family members to the violence, saw their homes destroyed, and lost all of their belongings. Living in humanitarian settings has a devastating effect on families, but women are particularly vulnerable; they face significant hardships trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy due to changing family structures, sexual violence, and disrupted health services—including sexual and reproductive health care.

    In response to the need for sexual and reproductive health services, the Government of Bangladesh partnered with national and international non-governmental organizations, including Ipas (a U.S.- based reproductive health and rights organization) to meet the needs of Rohingya women. Clinics were established, and paramedics, midwives, and doctors were trained to provide reproductive health services. As more clinics were established and trainings added, the attention turned to how to expand reproductive health services, including health information for Rohingya women.

  • Blog post

    Health advocates have a long history of increasing access to lifesaving products, especially for women and children, by affecting policy change. But what happens when, once adopted, the national policy doesn’t translate into increased product access throughout the country? Policy change alone is not always sufficient to achieve improved access to health products. However, advocates have an important tool at their disposal to complement policy change: market advocacy.

  • Resource

    To test the effects of a digital health training package on family planning behaviors in Bangladesh, K4Health conducted a cross-sectional study. The knowledge a fieldworker gains through a digital health training package can be diffused to clients, positively affecting client knowledge and behaviors. Digital health training packages can empower fieldworkers by providing them with relevant information at the point of care, which can enhance their credibility among the communities they serve.

  • Blog post
    © 2010 Basri Marzuki, Courtesy of Photoshare

    © 2010 Basri Marzuki, Courtesy of Photoshare.

    Today’s young people are the first generation that has never known a world without HIV, and they account for 40% of all new HIV infections. Each day, more than 2,400 young people become infected with HIV—and some 5 million young people ages 15 to 24 are living with HIV. Young women and girls living with HIV, young people who engage in sex work, young men who have sex with men, young transgender people, and young people who use drugs are among the most marginalized youth in the world. They experience extreme difficulties accessing services due to high levels of stigma, discrimination, violence, and, in some cases, fear of arrest. This makes them highly vulnerable to HIV, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and severe human rights violations.

    The Link Up project that my organization is part of works in Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Uganda, to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people most affected by HIV and to help them realize their sexual and reproductive rights. The project is implemented based on the principle that young people themselves have the power, through their own leadership, to bring an end to AIDS.

  • Blog post
    Photo Credit: David J. Olson

    Two salesmen from DKT India make a pitch for condoms and oral contraceptive pills to the owner of a pharmacy in the Mumbai slums. In 2013, DKT India delivered 2.9 million couple years of protection, making it the ninth biggest contraceptive social marketing program in the world. Photo Credit: David J. Olson

    In 2013, social marketing organizations around the world delivered more impact than ever before: 70 million couple years of protection (CYPs). This is an increase of 6.8% from the 65.5 million CYPs produced in 2012, according to the 2013 Contraceptive Social Marketing Statistics just published by DKT International. (A couple year of protection is the amount of contraception needed to protect one couple for one year; see note at the end of this blog post for more details.)

    The report provides details on 93 contraceptive social marketing programs in 66 countries, all of which are helping provide modern contraception and reduce unmet need for family planning among women and families in their countries.

  • Blog post
    © 2012 Akintunde Akinleye/NURHI, Courtesy of Photoshare

    IUDs are displayed on a table at the counseling unit in Yusuf Dantsoho memorial hospital in Nigeria’s northern city of Kaduna. © 2012 Akintunde Akinleye/NURHI, Courtesy of Photoshare.

    The buzz around long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for teen pregnancy prevention reached a fever pitch in the U.S. last month. First, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines recommending that LARCs be the “first line” of contraceptives for preventing adolescent pregnancy. That is, pediatricians should recommend LARCs such as IUDs and implants before shorter-term contraceptive methods such as condoms and pills for teens.

    Days later, The New England Journal of Medicine published the impressive results of a new study showing that providing adolescent girls in the U.S. with information about, and affordable access to, LARCs can reduce rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion by more than 75 percent.

    These developments deserve our attention. Despite steep declines over the past two decades, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate continues to be one of the highest in the world among high-income countries. While male condoms—currently the most widely used contraceptive method among American teens—are essential to preventing sexually transmitted infections, they have a typical pregnancy-prevention failure rate of 18 percent. Widely popular oral contraceptive pills aren’t far behind at 9 percent. In contrast, both IUDs and implants have failure rates of less than 1 percent.

  • Blog post

    To me, [community health workers] are very helpful because in most cases I am busy. They have taken over that heavy work. You see, family planning needs a lot of talking to clients and yet I am always busy at the unit with deliveries, antenatal, immunization and many others. So with them I get helped. They have really taken off a big burden from me. 

    ~Achieng Rose, Midwife, Bulumbi Health Clinic, Busia, Uganda

    Global health worker crisis

    © 2013 Todd Shapera, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Community Health Worker Marie Chantal walks into her village of Batamuliza Hururiro, near Rukumo Health Center, Rwanda. © 2013 Todd Shapera, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Right now, we are 7.2 million health workers short of meeting the global population’s health care needs. By 2035, that shortage will reach 12.8 million. Twenty-nine of the 46 sub-Saharan countries are below the World Health Organization’s (WHO) lowest category of 2.5 doctors per 10,000 individuals. Moreover, medical providers are unevenly distributed; in most low-resource countries, doctors and nurses typically live and practice in urban areas, yet the majority of the populations in those countries reside in rural areas. Family planning services, in particular, suffer from grossly inadequate numbers of providers to meet the needs. A 2012 Guttmacher Institute estimate calculated 222 million women with an unmet need for modern contraception in low-resource countries.

  • Blog post


    The Leaking Bucket Phenomenon in Family Planning

    This blog post by Anrudh K. Jain, Distinguished Scholar of The Population Council originally appeared on September 9, 2014 in the Champions 4 Choice blog, a blog of the EnderHealth-led RESPOND Project. 

    Family planning (FP) programs in developing countries have been experiencing a phenomenon that I like to call “the leaking bucket.” Let’s say that you place a bucket under an open tap and watch the water level rise, until you discover a hole in the bottom of the bucket. Water is now leaking out of the bucket. Filling the bucket will be easier once the hole is plugged. In the same way, meeting women’s desire to reduce unwanted fertility will become easier once FP programs pay more attention to contraceptive discontinuation.

  • Resource
    The Knowledge for Health project is pleased to share with you the BKMI eHealth pilot documentary, which describes a key Knowledge Management and Behavior Change Communication project with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in Bangladesh.
  • Resource
    The Knowledge for Health project is pleased to share with you the BKMI eHealth pilot documentary, which describes a key Knowledge Management and Behavior Change Communication project with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in Bangladesh.