Family Planning/Reproductive Health
Priority Health Areas / Family Planning/Reproductive Health
Access to quality family planning (FP) and other reproductive health (RH) information and services remains limited in many
developing countries. Challenges include insufficient or nonexistent health workers,
cadres that are poorly prepared to provide information and services and work
environments that discourage undertaking FP/RH tasks. Weak infrastructure and
distribution systems complicate access to FP services, especially in the poorest and
most rural areas. Government health care outlets are often few and inadequately
dispersed, and private-sector services are more likely to be found in areas with higher
economic opportunities. Mechanisms for tracking the currency of health workersâ€™
skills as well as for retraining and supportive supervision are often lacking, along with
appropriate supplies and equipment to meet the needs of clients. Workplace planning
for FP service provision, alignment, development and support is often inadequate, but is
essential to address FP/RH needs and is directly linked to improved service delivery.
The Capacity Project's major results areas in FP/RH included Kenya's national FP training plan, comprehensive FP service strengthening in Rwanda, a no-scalpel vasectomy program in Rwanda and a study on bottlenecks to implementing updated FP/RH guidelines.
- Without addressing the broader human resources for health issues, access to key
services such as FP will remain limited or unavailable.
- Countries need to align national FP workforce planning with national FP priorities.
- Strategic placement of seconded staff within ministries of health can
strengthen the national FP training by mobilizing support for the
development and implementation of a national FP training plan.
- Addressing logistical and financial support may be as important in
increasing FP service access as information and counseling.
- There is a lack of documented evidence that increasing training materials
improves the actual implementation and impact of FP/RH guidelines.
Learn more about the Projectâ€™s impact on family planning and other reproductive health programming.
See other areas in Priority Health Areas: HIV/AIDS; Tuberculosis