Home to 6.6 million people, Togo is a small West African nation situated between Ghana and Benin. Despite recent economic progress and an increase in primary school enrollment among girls, advancements in reproductive health are lagging. Today, Togo has one of the highest levels of unmet need for contraception in the world. Approximately 41% of women in Togo want to use contraceptives, but lack access, and only 12% of women currently use a modern method of contraception.
In 2013, EngenderHealth and the U.S. Agency for International Development/West Africa launched Agir pour la Planification Familiale(AgirPF), a five-year program designed to expand women’s access to and use of family planning servicesin five West African countries. By educating communities on the benefits of contraception, training providers to deliver quality services, and expanding access in underserved communities, we will work to increase informed decision making about family planningand broaden voluntary use of contraceptives.
In partnership with the government and other nonprofit organizations, EngenderHealth began work in Togo in 2010 to expand access to family planning services, and promote the availability of long-acting and reversible contraception (LARCs), such as the hormonal implant, the intrauterine device, female sterilization, and vasectomy.
The AWARE-RH Project
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
The RESPOND Project
In its efforts to improve the quality of health care, the RESPOND Project encouraged the passage of the Reproductive Health Law, which increased 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.