Togo, a small West African nation situated between Ghana and Benin, is home to 6.1 million people. Despite recent economic progress and an increase in primary school enrollment among girls, reproductive health improvements are lagging, and the contraceptive prevalence of 17% percent falls behind the regional average.
The RESPOND Project began work in Togo in 2010, assessing current family planning activities, and developing recommendations for increasing access to services. In conjunction with the Government of Togo and other nonprofit organizations, the RESPOND Project is working to increase access to family planning services, and promote availability of long-acting contraceptives, such as implants, IUDs, female sterilization and vasectomy. The project takes a holistic approach by:
- Addressing barriers to providing high quality family planning services
- Engaging communities to raise awareness about family planning and available options
- Promoting policies that are supportive of family planning
RESPOND collaborates with the AWARE II Project on many of these efforts.
EngenderHealth's previous work in Togo, under the Action for West Africa Region Reproductive Health (AWARE-RH) Project-sought to improve both maternal and child health. To that end, the previous work between 2003 and 2008 focused on:
- Improving the quality of health care
- Promoting maternal, infant, and child health
- Addressing HIV and AIDS through integrated health care
In its efforts to improve the quality of health care, RESPOND encouraged the passage of the Reproductive Health Law, which increases access to family planning and reproductive health care, advocated for increased funding to improve the country's health programs, and utilized a model called "REDUCE" to highlight the economic benefits of improved maternal health care.
To promote maternal, infant, and child health throughout the country, RESPOND mobilized community participation in health care, improved provider skills in basic and emergency obstetric and neonatal care, upgraded equipment at health facilities, developed a new treatment protocol to prevent malaria in pregnant women, and provided comprehensive postabortion care services.
In Togo, HIV prevention activities included targeting truckers and residents along the main transport corridors between Togo and Niger with information on HIV prevention, family planning services, and voluntary HIV counseling and testing services.
EngenderHealth's Fistula Care project also worked in Togo, supporting the Africa Mercy floating hospital by conducting fistula repairs and training when it docked in Lomé in 2010.