Task Shifting for Comprehensive Access to Contraceptives in Ethiopia
What if you lived in a rural part of Ethiopia where the closest health clinic was kilometers away from your home and you wanted to exercise choice in selecting a contraceptive method? Ideally, you would like one that allows you to visit the family planning clinic less frequently, is reliable, and is a modern method such as oral contraceptive pills, condoms, injectables, intrauterine device, sterilization or implants. What if you learn that you can gain access to a long-acting contraceptive method at the community level but have to travel to a health facility for several hours to have it removed because there is no way to do so at the community level? What do you do? What millions of women are forced to do every day…You go without.
In rural Ethiopia, poor health infrastructure and lack of trained health providers make this scenario all too real for the overriding majority of women. More than 80 percent of the population lives in rural communities, where reliable access to reproductive health care is nearly impossible to find.
That’s where the USAID-funded Integrated Family Health Program (IFHP) comes in. The project, implemented by Pathfinder International and John Snow, Inc. in partnership with local organizations, supports the Government of Ethiopia with creative solutions to improve access to family planning and reproductive health services in Ethiopia’s rural and underserved populations. I recently traveled to Ethiopia to meet our team and learn more about how the Integrated Family Health Program brings contraceptive services to women in the communities where those services would otherwise be nearly impossible to reach.
While nearly 75 percent of currently married women of reproductive age in Ethiopia have reported a desire to delay childbirth for at least two years or stop bearing children altogether, only 28 percent use a modern method for contraception to prevent pregnancy (Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey, 2011).
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2013/07/Task-Shifting-for-Comprehensive-Access-to-Contraceptives-in-Ethiopia
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