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PROGRESS Newsletter #4

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Need Guidance for Sessions at the Second International Conference on Family Planning?

International Conference on Family Planning logo

For a schedule of more than 25 presentations based on PROGRESS-supported activities that will be presented at this conference, click here (PDF, 101 KB). Topics of the presentations range from expansion of community-based services in Zambia to a panel on the new subcutaneous injectable contraceptive. PROGRESS is also helping to support auxiliary sessions in the evenings and guide a series of interactive sessions through the Implementing Best Practices Initiative. The conference is being held in Dakar, Senegal, from November 29–December 2, 2011. Hope to see you there!

Launching a Toolkit on Community-Based Access to Injectables

blue square graphic with title of and link to CBA2I toolkit

PROGRESS has completed the development of a community-based access to injectables (CBA2I) toolkit. Launched in June 2011, this toolkit strengthens the capacity of advocates, program managers, policy-makers, donors and others to plan, implement, evaluate, promote, and scale up CBA2I programs and to advocate for changes to national policy and service-delivery guidelines.

Part of a series of toolkits on the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) website, this new resource includes a strategic package of high-quality information on global and country-specific evidence in support of CBA2I; materials for advocacy and guidance; and tools for piloting, implementing, and scaling up CBA2I programs. A French language tab offers several of the tools for those working in Francophone countries. The toolkit also contains links to key organizations working to expand CBA2I around the world.

Many of the tools, now easily available, can be adapted or revised for use in specific country contexts and unique program circumstances. PROGRESS will continue to update and support the promotion and dissemination of the CBA2I toolkit with K4Health.

You can go directly to the toolkit from the icon above.

Study Finds that Multiload-375 Intrauterine Device Is Popular in India: Government Uses Findings to Plan National Scale-Up

Operations research, conducted for the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) by FHI 360/India under PROGRESS, suggests that the Multiload-375 intrauterine device (IUD) should be a valuable addition to the national family planning program. The study found that the Multiload-375 IUD is popular among newly trained providers in India. It also concluded that a scale-up plan should address myths and misconceptions among providers and clients, strengthen existing counseling services, and give more attention to the follow-up of IUD clients.

An Auxiliary Nurse Midwife counseling a client on the benefits of the Multiload-375.
An auxiliary nurse midwife counsels a client on the benefits of the Multiload-375. Source: FHI 360/India PROGRESS, August 2010.

During the study, 127 IUD providers and 427 motivators and counselors were trained, and 597 clients who chose an IUD were tracked. Approximately 80% of the clients chose the Multiload-375, and 20% chose the CuT 380A. Interviews were also conducted with key informants, and intervention materials were developed for the study.

The MOHFW wants to expand the use of the Multiload-375 because it is popular in India's private sector and has some advantages over the CuT 380A, such as packaging with its inserter pre-loaded.

A report of the research findings is available here (PDF, 397 KB).

Regional Assessment of Community-Based Family Planning in Africa Identifies Opportunities and Challenges

cover of regional assessment report

Collaborating with the East, Central and Southern African Health Community (ECSA), PROGRESS has synthesized the findings of a regional assessment of community-based family planning and identified 18 key findings with recommendations for action.

The findings, available in this report (PDF, 505 KB), address policies and guidelines, operational issues, and financing that relate to community-based services and family planning, especially in rural areas. Dramatic differences exist between rural and urban populations in terms of unmet need for family planning, contraceptive prevalence, and total fertility rates.

PROGRESS worked with ECSA to assess community-based family planning in five ECSA member countries (Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) and to hold a regional validation meeting that included four additional member countries. Interviews for the assessment were conducted with policy-makers, associations, regulatory boards, implementing agencies, donors, members of Parliament, providers, and community health workers.

The findings were presented at the Effective Community Approaches to Family Planning Conference, which was sponsored by USAID in Kenya in July 2011.

PROGRESS logo letter Number 4 • November 2011

Updates on PROGRESS Activities

PROGRESS Partners with the Green Belt Movement to Improve the Environment

With the worldwide population now at 7 billion, addressing the effects of population growth on health care, education, employment, and the environment assumes greater urgency. In October 2011, PROGRESS began working with the Kenya-based Green Belt Movement (GBM) and partners to address the link between population growth and the environment. As part of this effort, PROGRESS has conducted a training of trainer's workshop, with the goal of promoting positive attitudes about family planning and the benefits of integrated population, health, and environmental activities. The project has trained staff from GBM, the Kenya Ministry of Health, and Kenya's APHIAplus Project to teach GBM volunteers how to integrate family planning discussions into their routine environmental activities with communities. GBM is a grassroots nongovernmental organization that works to protect the environment in Kenya and around the world. It was founded in 1977 by the late Professor Wangari Maathai, who was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Visit GBM's blog post about the training.

Parliament Members Endorse Draft Population Policy in Kenya

Currently at more than 38 million, the population of Kenya is expected to grow to more than 80 million by 2050 if fertility rates remain the same. Last year, with support from PROGRESS and other development partners, the Kenya National Coordinating Agency for Population Development (NCAPD) convened a meeting of national leaders to discuss population and development in Kenya. Based on the meeting, the NCAPD has developed a draft national population policy for 2011–2030. The draft policy, which has been reviewed by members of the Kenyan Parliament and other stakeholders, will be presented to the Parliament soon. If passed, it will be recognized as Kenya's official national population policy for the next two decades. The goal of the policy and the government's vision for the country is to help achieve a balance between population and socioeconomic growth by 2030.

Increasing Access to High-Quality Vasectomy Services in Rwanda

The Rwandan Ministry of Health (MOH), PROGRESS, and partners are implementing a comprehensive approach for increasing access to high-quality vasectomy services. The approach involves technical training on no-scalpel vasectomy with both thermal cautery and fascial interposition. Research suggests that this combination of vasectomy techniques, which is new to Africa, increases the effectiveness of the procedure. The MOH and local partners are also supporting efforts to raise community awareness about vasectomy and to train laboratory technicians to analyze semen to ensure the procedure's effectiveness. PROGRESS is working with the MOH to monitor and evaluate the training, document the project, and plan for expanding access to vasectomy nationwide. Since 2010, about 60 physicians and 90 nurses have been trained through this initiative.

Scientific Writing Workshops Build Capacity in Rwanda and Tanzania

In June 2011, PROGRESS supported week-long workshops in Rwanda and Tanzania to help approximately 40 young medical and public health researchers improve their scientific writing skills. In Rwanda, the workshop was organized in collaboration with the National University of Rwanda's School of Public Health. In Tanzania, it was organized in collaboration with the National Institute for Medical Research. Facilitated by science writers from FHI 360 and accomplished local researchers, the workshop focused on the importance of publishing, how to choose a scientific journal, and strategies for writing each section of a scientific manuscript. Selected workshop participants also received individual assistance on editing and revising their own manuscripts. PROGRESS continues to support follow-up consultations with a few participants to facilitate the long-term sustainability of the workshop's achievements.

PROGRESS (Program Research for Strengthening Services) is a five-year project awarded to FHI 360 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in June 2008. The project seeks to improve access to family planning among underserved populations by providing global technical leadership and working in selected countries. PROGRESS currently works in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in India.

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