Strengthening integrated family planning/maternal and neonatal health postpartum services and associated health system functions in Niger
Family planning (FP) is known to be one of the highest impact interventions for reducing maternal and child mortality, yet in Niger, there is a high unmet demand for family planning services. With support from the Ministry of Public Health and the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project, improvement teams in two hospitals and 14 health centers in Niger incorporated client-centered family planning services in their routine postpartum care, with an eye towards improving client choice and adherence to the selected FP method.
By introducing innovative changes affecting both providers and clients that stimulated interest in FP methods, health facilities in both urban and rural areas in Niger rapidly increased the proportion of women who received FP counseling as part of routine postpartum care, from 9% in December 2013 to 86% in August 2014. The 16 facilities also made gains in increasing the percentage of women discharged with a modern FP method of choice (from 0% in December 2013 to 31% in August 2014) and in increasing the percentage of couples counseled for FP (from 0% in December 2013 to 9.4% in August 2014). The work demonstrated the feasibility and value of integrating postpartum family planning (PPFP) in routine post-delivery care with women and couples by tackling cultural barriers and raising awareness among providers on missed opportunities to address PPFP.
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