E2A Newsletter, February 2016

USAID grants E2A three-year extension—until 2019!

We are thrilled to announce that USAID has awarded E2A a three-year extension, extending our completion date from September 29, 2016 to September 29, 2019. The three-year extension will allow us to continue to make important contributions to the international family planning community. We will continue to generate evidence—and transform that evidence into action—in our three focal areas: expanding method choice for underserved populations; scaling up family planning and reproductive health best and promising interventions and practices; and ensuring wide access to contraception among the large global youth population. In honor of our extension, we have expanded our social media presence by launching a Facebook account. Help us celebrate: “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Taking the Training Resource Package for Family Planning to Uganda

Following successful application of the Training Resource Package for Family Planning (TRPFP) in Tanzania, the E2A Project, with the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community College of Nursing (ECSACON), and the IBP Initiative, moved onto Uganda, where they demonstrated how the tool can be used to update pre-service education curricula and strengthen trainer capacity for use of competency-based teaching methods with nursing and midwifery students.

The TRPFP is a comprehensive set of evidence-based materials designed to support up-to-date training on family planning and reproductive health. The workshops in Tanzania and Uganda were a part of E2A’s comprehensive effort to promote application of family planning and reproductive health best practices. For wide adoption, E2A is building the capacity of ECSACON to disseminate and demonstrate application of the TRPFP among providers and trainers in its member states.  To foster south-to-south learning in Uganda, E2A invited the Coordinator for Nursing and Midwifery pre-service education from Tanzania, who led the dissemination and application of the TRPFP in Tanzania, to be one of the facilitators of the workshop.

The workshop in Uganda took place at an opportune time: as the pre-service curricula for nurses and midwives were due for review. At a planning meeting with the Ministries of Education, Health, training institutions, and regulatory councils, a representative from the Ministry of Education expressed the need for the revised curricula to focus more on competency-based training skills. Others expressed the need for standardized training, better articulated objectives, and a contraceptive technology update for educators.

At the workshop, E2A disseminated the TRPFP to 34 participants from public and faith-based nursing and midwifery schools and universities, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, members of ESCACON’s Uganda Chapter, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination Board, and the Uganda Family Planning Consortium. Participants took a pre-workshop knowledge assessment, which demonstrated that they generally had sufficient knowledge on contraceptive technology and limited knowledge on Medical Eligibility Criteria and competency-based training methods.

At the workshop, participants heard presentations on and discussed:

  • The family planning context in Uganda
  • Family planning training curricula for nurses and midwives in Uganda
  • The importance of family planning in pre-service education
  • An overview of family planning and reproductive health best practices and tools
  • 2015 Medical Eligibility Criteria for contraceptive methods
  • Experiences with use of competency-based training methods and the TRPFP in Tanzania

E2A demonstrated application of the TRPFP using the module on Standard Days Method.

Revising curricula

Participants reviewed the diploma and certificate curricula for nurses and midwives, including the reproductive health course unit that includes family planning. Using the steps for designing training in the TRPFP, participants developed and reached consensus on draft reproductive health course unit objectives; knowledge, attitudes, and skills; and family planning content. Participants also agreed on prerequisites to the course unit. Participants adopted the drafts as an addendum to the curricula until final approval by the Nurses and Midwives Council and Ministry of Education. Once approved, the revised content will be formally added to the reproductive health course unit curricula.

Developing and teaching session plans

Participants worked in small groups to adapt randomly assigned modules of the TRPFP into two-hour session plans on: benefits of family planning, combined oral pills, injectable contraceptives, intrauterine devices, implants, female condoms, counseling, and emergency contraceptive pills.  The adaptations were based on the revised reproductive health course unit. They merged objectives, modified training methods, and referenced acquired knowledge and skills from previously taught units.

Participants then used the TRPFP to develop and demonstrate a 20-minute session from one of the adapted session plans, enabling participants to practice competency-based training methods. The facilitators noted that participants will need further skill-building in use of competency-based training methods and development of an adapted TRPFP for Uganda.

Sustainability of TRPFP in Uganda

Participants developed plans for applying the TRPFP on the job and sharing it with their colleagues and clinical instructors. Representatives of the Ministries of Education and Health, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, and the Nurses and Midwives Examination Board included plans to mobilize resources that would support: finalization of reproductive health course unit objectives; development and integration of family planning content in other course units such as postabortion care and maternal and child health; and development of an adapted facilitators’ guide for Uganda.

“I am very enthusiastic about the TRPFP that has been provided because it brings all the materials in one package,” said Grace Nakku, a midwifery tutor from Nsambya School of Nursing and Midwifery, a Catholic institution in Kampala, Uganda. “Previously, different schools have had diverse approaches to teaching family planning and personally I was depending on the available text books on family planning. It is also very good because we now have standardized information that will be disseminated to the students regardless of the school that they come from.”

“This package will definitely ease my work,” she said.

E2A staff talks to FP Voices about youth

Earlier this month, Murtala Mai, E2A’s Director of Field of Support, told FP Voices about the importance of reaching young people with family planning services. “What are we doing for the young people? In every single developing country, you don’t need to go far–just look down the street, and you will see young people who are active and very, very vibrant, with all sorts of ideas, but without anybody doing anything to take care of their needs.”

In January, Regina Benevides, E2A’s Senior Youth Advisor, reflected on the debut of E2A’s film Binta’s Dilemma in Niger: “I become so emotional. It was so beautiful—I could see the power of young people. They could mobilize people to come to see their own issues. It was a story made by them, for them, about them. It was not about me, the project, what we want for young people. It was about what they need.”