Family planning and reproductive health save lives.
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November 2015 (Issue 9)

Family Planning: The win-win-Win for Health

Family Planning: The Win-Win-Win for Health. {Photo: Olumade Badejo/MSH}}
The International Family Planning Conference 2015 was postponed (due to health and travel concerns after a recent volcanic eruption near Bali), but the critical family planning conversation continues.

Family planning is a triple win health intervention: it reduces maternal mortality, prevents child deaths, and contributes to an AIDS-free generation. Family planning also improves women’s chances for education and employment attainment, increasing workforce participation, family and economic stability, and the well-being of families, children, and communities.

Nearly 225 million women still have an unmet need for modern contraceptives. About four in every five unintended pregnancies (81 percent) occur among women who want to avoid pregnancy, but are not using an effective family planning method. Perhaps most alarming: adolescent girls (aged 15-19) have the highest unmet need for family planning among any age group. Adolescent pregnancy is a major contributor to maternal and neonatal mortality.

Meeting the unmet need for family planning could reduce the number of maternal deaths by one-third.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is the leader in strengthening health systems and a key player among international family planning advocacy initiatives, including Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH), and serving on working groups as a member of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) and the steering committee of the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Consortium, as well as on various technical resource teams of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.

MSH uses a health systems strengthening approach to improve access to and use of quality, voluntary family planning and reproductive health across the continuum of care through comprehensive health services in 21 countries: Angola, Bangladesh, Belize, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, South Sudan, Swaziland, and Uganda.

MSH focuses on seven key areas: 1) management and leadership; 2) scaling up high-impact practices; 3) integrated programming; 4) universal health coverage (UHC); 5) adolescents and youth; 6) contraceptive security; and 7) private local solutions. You’ll see some of these stories and examples in this newsletter.
Photo: Olumade Badejo/MSH

Global Health Impact Blog

Not Without Family Planning: Why Reproductive Health Security Must Be at the Center of Universal Health Coverage

by Beth Yeager and Fabio Castaño
Not without Family Planning: Why Reproductive Health Security Must Be at the Center of Universal Health Coverage {Photo credit: Rui Pires}
To achieve targets for universal health coverage (UHC) and reducing maternal mortality, countries must prioritize family planning and reproductive health.

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Photo: Rui Pires


Integrated Health Project - DRC

Community-Based Approaches to Family Planning Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality in DRC

MSH, through the USAID-funded Integrated Health Project (IHP)/IHPplus, is addressing the high death rates of mothers and children in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), often due to health complications resulting from poor family planning and lack of birth spacing, with community-based distributors of family planning and champion communities.
Community-Based Distributors of Family Planning:  “Mother who takes care of birth spacing”
Community Health Workers Champion Family Planning to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Photos: MSH staff and Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd.


Health Impact of Family Planning in Madagascar: Three Questions with USAID MIKOLO's Project Director

by Emily Judem
Narcisse Embeke, his wife, and two children. {Courtesy of Embeke}
Hear Project Director John Yanulis (pictured right with MSH's Lalah Rambeloson) answer three questions about the USAID Mikolo project, which is reducing maternal, infant and child morbidity and mortality across nine regions in Madagascar by increasing access to and quality of community-based primary health care services.

// Listen >>
Photo: Heidi Yanulis


Empowering Rural Malagasy Women with Modern Family Planning

by Alexandra Wolfson
Empowering Rural Malagasy Women with Modern Family Planning {Photo credit: Photo: F. Saholiarisoa/MSH}
MSH, through the USAID Mikolo Project, has trained more than 2,100 community health volunteers across eight regions to use Depo Provera and is training more than 780 across three regions to provide Sayana Press, a new injectable contraceptive that is simple and safe to administer.

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Photo: Fanja Saholiarisoa/MSH

VIDEO: Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths

ACTING ON THE CALL - ending preventable child and maternal deaths
This video by USAID Madagascar highlights the health impact of USAID Mikolo Project, led by MSH, training community health workers on how to use pregnancy test kits -- a pioneering strategy to help expand family planning in remote areas of Madagascar.

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Cameroon: Providing Comprehensive Postpartum Family Planning

Cameroon. {Photo credit: MSH staff}
MSH and partners are implementing a comprehensive postpartum family planning program at the four largest hospitals in Cameroon’s capital city of Yaoundé and in two rural hospitals. The program offers a full range of contraceptive options to women, with a focus on adolescent and young mothers aged 15-24 years.

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Photo: MSH staff

MSH Expands Family Planning with Integrated HIV and TB Services in Uganda

by Noah Lukoda
MSH Expands Family Planning with Integrated HIV and TB Services in Uganda {Photo: MSH staff}
MSH and partners incorporate family planning counseling as part of efforts to support health facilities and community outreach to provide comprehensive and quality HIV and tuberculosis services through Strengthening TB and HIV & AIDS Responses in Eastern Uganda (STAR-E), a USAID project funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

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Photo: MSH staff

Building Strong Women Leaders in Family Planning through Mentoring

by Sarah Lindsay
Building Strong Women Leaders in Family Planning through Mentoring {Photo: MSH}
Developing women leaders and increasing the number of women holding leadership positions in health has far-reaching benefits. To address some challenges that women in East Africa face achieving leadership positions, the USAID-funded Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project, led by MSH, established an online mentoring network for women working in the field of family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH).

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East Africa
Photo: MSH staff

High-Impact Practices in Family Planning: Strengthening Leaders and Managers

by Reshma Trasi
{Photo: Rui Pires}
For years, MSH and partners have championed and advocated that leadership and management be recognized as a high-impact practice (HIP) for family planning. Now, MSH’s tools and approaches for strengthening the capacity of leaders and managers have been recognized as a HIP for improving family planning programs.

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High-Impact Practices | leadership and Management
Photo: Rui Pires



Stronger health systems. Greater health impact.
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We envision a world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life.
GuidestarManagement Sciences for Health (MSH) uses proven approaches developed over 40 years to help leaders, health managers, and communities in developing nations build stronger health systems for greater health impact. We work to save lives by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Since its founding in 1971, MSH has worked in over 150 countries with policymakers, health professionals, and health care consumers to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of health services.

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