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In India, about 61% of #postpartum women have an unmet need for family planning. Our EAISI project partnered with the Indian Government to expand access to postpartum #familyplanning by strengthening #IUD services. #WDC2021
Learn more 👉 http://ow.ly/ZKK450Ggeqt

Access to postpartum #FamilyPlanning is crucial for ensuring the health, rights, and well-being of #MomAndBaby. @USAID_MOMENTUM strengthens linkages between maternal health & family planning services to allow individuals to safely space births: https://usaidmomentum.org/world-contraception-day-2021/ #WCD2021

We’re honored to pass the IBP Partnership “drum” to @fhi360 as the new @ibp_network chair! We look forward to collaborating w/ you & the entire network to improve #familyplanning & #SRHR programming and services worldwide. @TraciLBaird @DrONChabikuli @nanditathatte @AddicoG

"I feel strongly that these issues of access, voice & equality that we promote within our programs must also be embedded in our operating structures & I have been really proud that EngenderHealth has been able to stand with @ibp_network during this journey."- @TraciLBaird #SRHR

“We so value the IBP network members for our common commitment to identifying & sharing effective practices, so we can achieve our collective, ambitious & critical goals on sexual & reproductive health,” CEO @TraciLBaird reflects our term as @ibp_network chair #partnersmeeting.

During the @ibp_network Partners Meeting @aguilera_ana91 shared how we use our Gender, Youth & Social Inclusion (GYSI) Analysis Framework & Toolkit and GYSI Staff Training Manual to create more #equitable & #inclusive programs. Learn more ➡️ http://ow.ly/qlNc50GflmK

More than half of married women around the world use modern contraception, but rates vary widely by country, with fewer than 15% using a modern method in some low- and middle-income countries. Take a look at the latest data on #FamilyPlanning from @PRBdata 👇🏿 #worldpopdata

We’re #hiring a Human Resources Coordinator to support the HR Dept providing professional, analytical, & technical support to HR-related projects & initiatives. Washington, DC, or remote until return to office. Salary & benefits in job post.

Apply ➡️ http://ow.ly/v3im50GdKQh

(1/2) Young people often prefer to go to pharmacies rather than clinics for #FamilyPlanning info and products. But high costs and provider bias at pharmacies can deter young people from getting the care and services they desire.

𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗮𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗳 #𝗜_𝗔𝗰𝗧𝗧 CVA 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 𝗶𝗻 𝗝𝗮𝗺𝗺𝘂.An 𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗼𝗳 @EngenderHealth @ypfoundation 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 @people_hut

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June 24, 2020

Ensuring Contraceptive Choice in India amid COVID-19

An OB-GYN counsels a married couple on contraceptive methods in Bihar, India in 2017. © Paula Bronstein/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment

“Many women like me come from a poor family. We use the contraceptives at government hospitals because they are free,” said Geeta*, a 25-year-old mother of two from Gujarat, India.

Not long after the birth of her first child, Geeta chose to have an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) inserted for free at a nearby government hospital so she could determine the timing of her second pregnancy.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused challenges for women like Geeta. On March 24, India implemented a nationwide lockdown considered one of the strictest in the world, which made it cumbersome, and at times impossible, for people to travel to health facilities for contraceptives.

While lockdown measures were recently eased at a national level, there are still hundreds of “containment zones” with restrictions in place, and many people in the country continue to have difficulty accessing contraceptive services and supplies.

Even if someone can get to a health facility or has access to home-based contraceptive services through a community health worker, there is no guarantee that the contraceptive method of their choice will be in stock due to pandemic-related disruptions to contraceptive supply chains.

Devastating impacts

A recent policy brief by the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services India (FRHS India) estimated that, due to the pandemic, millions of Indians will not be able to access their chosen contraceptive methods and that there will be a loss of 709,088 IUCDs, 509,360 doses of contraceptive injections, 20 million cycles of oral contraceptive pills, 827,332 emergency contraceptive pills, 530,737 permanent methods, and 342.11 million condoms.

EngenderHealth-trained nurse Manisha Wagh. © Hemalata Koli

EngenderHealth-trained senior staff nurse Manisha Wagh. © Hemalata Koli

Even in a best-case scenario in which contraceptive services are at full capacity by July, FRHS India estimates that 24.55 million couples in the country would not have been able to access contraceptives in 2020.

Manisha Wagh, an EngenderHealth-trained senior staff nurse working at a government hospital in Maharashtra, India, believes that “there will be many unwanted pregnancies and abortions” if people cannot obtain the contraceptive methods of their choice and, in turn, forego the use of contraception altogether.

“If clients don’t get the method of their choice, they usually don’t accept other methods,” said Wagh.

In fact, FRHS India estimates that, if the situation does not normalize, the country will experience an additional 1.94 million unintended pregnancies and 1.18 million abortions (including 681,883 unsafe abortions).

Resolving contraceptive stockouts

EngenderHealth’s India team has been working in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra to strengthen the systems of 144 health facilities—around 40 of which are in lock-downed “containment zones”—to ensure they are fully stocked with available contraceptive methods. To date, the team’s efforts have helped to resolve contraceptive stockouts at roughly 37 of those facilities.

EngenderHealth Clinical Trainer Dr. Apurva Akre (right). © Dr. Shital Chavan

EngenderHealth Clinical Trainer Dr. Apurva Akre. © Dr. Shital Chavan

The hospital where Wagh works is one such facility—in April, it experienced stockouts of IUCDs and nonsteroidal oral contraceptive pills.

“Due to the lockdown’s travel restrictions we were not able to go to the district store to get [contraceptive] stocks. We also do not have enough manpower to do this; everyone is busy with screening COVID-19 patients,” said Wagh.

After learning about the hospital’s stockouts from Wagh, EngenderHealth Clinical Trainer Dr. Apurva Akre coordinated with district health officials to find an alternative way to make sure that contraceptive stocks were supplied to the facility.

“I will support facilities to restock [contraceptives] in every way possible,” said Dr. Akre.

Now that the lockdown in India has started to ease up in some areas, Dr. Akre and others on the team are working to ensure that EngenderHealth-supported facilities have the proper systems and coordination mechanisms in place to maintain contraceptive stocks throughout the remainder of the pandemic and upcoming recovery phase.

“We are continuously communicating with our providers and facilities…and also conducting virtual orientations for them through online platforms,” said Dr. Akre.

“If facilities face stockouts of contraception, women and girls will not be able to get the method of their choice,” she said.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

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