E2A Newsletter, September 2015
Strengthening family planning services in Shinyanga, Tanzania
In the Shinyanga region of Tanzania, where only 13 percent of married women are using a contraceptive, the E2A Project is strengthening community-based family planning services. E2A has worked with Pathfinder International in Shinyanga to introduce Standard Days Method® as part of the contraceptive mix offered by community health workers, ensure referrals to local health centers for long-acting methods, and highlight the importance of dual protection—or the use of condoms with another contraceptive method in order to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections simultaneously, including HIV.
Through a partnership between D-tree International and Pathfinder International and support from E2A, community health workers in Shinyanga are now using a mobile application that allows them to easily register and track clients and offers them support with information for family planning counseling and provision of methods. A new video produced by D-tree International shows how the app has helped support the community health workers.
In the next year, E2A’s support in Shinyanga will include an emphasis on reaching youth, including first-time parents. It has become evident that current services are not often reaching young people, and first-time parents—young women under age 25 who are pregnant and/or have one child and their partners—are some of the most underserved. Work will focus on generating young people’s demand for and boosting their access to family planning services; training community health workers on how to reach young people, in particular first-time parents; creating an enabling environment in communities to support high-quality sexual and reproductive health services for youth; and conducting small group discussions with first-time mothers.
At the same time, E2A will offer trainings to facility-based providers, giving them the skills necessary to provide high-quality family planning counseling and services, particularly the insertion and removal of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods.
Garnering national commitment to improve services for Togolese youth
Youth-friendly services in Togo are struggling to meet both national and international standards, according to a study conducted by Agir pour la Planification Familiale PF (AgirPF)—a project funded by USAID West Africa and led by Engenderhealth. AgirPF is expanding women’s access to and use of family planning services in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger, and Togo.
In response to challenges related to the administration of youth-friendly services, AgirPF invited the E2A Project to cohost a national meeting in Togo. During the meeting, on September 8 and 9, government and civil society representatives discussed plans for improving youth-friendly services and policies addressing adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH). The meeting was a springboard for further capacity building in AYSRH.
E2A’s senior youth advisor, Regina Benevides, introduced participants to E2A’s tool, Thinking outside the separate space. The tool can be used by decision-makers to design youth-friendly services that are contextually appropriate for each population served. Katie Chau, another senior youth advisor with E2A, worked with participants to analyze Togo’s political and legal AYSRH landscape, leading to recommendations for the development of a new national strategic plan for adolescent health.
The meeting in Togo was modeled after a national meeting in Niger, held in March of 2015 by E2A and Niger’s Ministry of Public Health. Working with AgirPF, E2A plans to cohost additional national meetings for AYSRH in West African countries in the coming year.
Wilson Center Event: Expanding Contraceptive Method Choice and Access for Underserved Populations in Africa
Join us in a discussion with country representatives for Pathfinder International in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania to discuss efforts to expand access to voluntary family planning services for those who need it most. Specific topics include expanding contraceptive method mix through community-based channels, provision of postpartum intrauterine devices, community-based access to injectables, and adding the Standard Days Method® to the contraceptive method mix.
When: October 5, 2015, 2-4 pm
Where: Wilson Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
Dr. Mengistu Asnake, Country Representative, Pathfinder Ethiopia
Dr. Farouk Jega, Country Representative, Pathfinder Nigeria
Mustafa Kudrati, Country Representative, Pathfinder Tanzania
Aben Ngay, Country Representative, Pathfinder Democratic Republic of the Congo
Moderator: Ann Hirschey, Chief, Service Delivery Improvement Division, USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health