Lessons learned from training and support for health workers in the public and private sectors
Malawi has made significant progress in scaling up DMPA-SC and self-injection in the public sector with 100% of service delivery points activated. The country has also learned valuable lessons through private sector pilots and is in the process of finalizing new guidelines to authorize pharmacies and drugstores to provide self-injection training to clients. The country’s approach is widely appreciated as an example of effective government-led and partner-supported scale-up involving both the public and private sector.
This webinar hosted by the PATH-JSI DMPA-SC Access Collaborative Learning and Action Network on August 3, 2022 featured public and private partners’ insights on national scale-up of DMPA-SC and self-injection, with a focus on provider training and supportive supervision as well as strong cross-sectoral partnerships. Speakers included representatives from the Malawi Ministry of Health Reproductive Health Directorate, Clinton Health Access Initiative, FHI 360, and Population Services International.
Drawing from program data and research, panelists discussed practical lessons learned from Malawi’s national scale-up of public-sector provider training, public provider reflections on integrating self-injection, and experiences from a private sector provider training pilot. These lessons may benefit governments and public and private partners in other contexts who are in the process of introducing or scaling up DMPA-SC for self-injection.
The Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange is a platform for increasing global access to resources on contraceptive research, development, registration, and introduction through collaboration and knowledge sharing. The site features Calliope, the Contraceptive Pipeline Database, which provides information on new and future contraceptive products, including long-acting and novel products currently only available in limited markets.
The DMPA/NET-EN checklist consists of questions designed to identify medical conditions that would prevent safe DMPA/NET-EN use or require further screening and assess whether a client might be pregnant. It also provides guidance and directions based on clients’ responses.
An indicator is a measure of program performance that is tracked over time. This document presents potential process and outcome indicators organized according to the phase of the community-based access to injectables (CBA2I) pilot along with the related evaluation questions, data sources and measurement tools. The list can be adapted to local contexts and program goals to assess a pilot’s progress toward intended outputs and achievement of goals.
This brief presents the conclusions of a technical consultation of experts that reviewed extensive evidence and recommended that community-based provision of injectable contraceptives by trained community health workers is safe and effective. The document highlights program guidance and operational issues as well as priorities for new research.
Background: Injectable contraceptives are the most used method in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted market research to assess potential user attitudes toward 4- and 6-month injectables. We also present user suggestions for marketing these new injectables once they are available.
Methods: We implemented a 2-phase market research study from October through December 2021 in Kampala, Uganda, and Lagos, Nigeria. We conducted 11 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 51 participants in Kampala and 12 FGDs with 67 participants in Lagos. FGDs included current and potential injectable users and men stratified by marital status and age. Next, 23 women in Kampala and 24 in Lagos participated in cocreation workshops using human-centered design methods to explore marketing and communications strategies for each injectable. Data collection teams completed semistructured data extraction tables that were then analyzed thematically.
Results: Participants liked both injectable options due to the reduced number of facility visits that would save time and money and increase privacy. Primary concerns included side effects, delayed return to fertility, cost, self-efficacy to self-inject, and stock-outs. Participants in Kampala preferred a shorter reinjection window (or “grace period”) because it is easier to remember and they assumed it meant a quicker return to fertility, but participants in Lagos preferred a longer window because it provides extra time for reinjection. Citing norms around women needing to get pregnant quickly after marriage, participants in both sites felt that the 4-month injectable would benefit young people with busy lifestyles or limited access to facilities, whereas the 6-month injectable would benefit women who already had children.
Conclusions: We found that participants in Kampala and Lagos would prefer additional injectable options to meet the wide-ranging needs of users in different stages of their reproductive lives. Family planning program planners can apply the marketing insights we identified when these new injectables become available.
As part of the Global Health Science and Practice (GHTechX) conference, CHAI, FHI 360, PATH, the Population Council, PSI, and WCG hosted an April 22, 2021 session to synthesize lessons learned across contraceptive introduction of implants, DMPA-SC self-injection, hormonal IUS and other methods. During the session, experts from Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and the United States outlined essential steps for the process of contraceptive product introduction, described common challenges, and shared tools and approaches based on experiences with the three methods. Session slides are available below. To watch the recording of this and many other sessions, register for free on the GHTechX website.
Self-administered subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) is poised to increase access to contraception; however, governments are concerned about the waste management of used units. Self-injectors in Malawi and Uganda are currently instructed to store used units in containers and return them to health workers for disposal. However, this may not be feasible in low-resource settings, especially for younger or covert self-injectors. We describe adolescent (15–19 years) and adult (20–49 years) self-injectors’ disposal experiences in Uganda and Malawi. When possible, we compare covert and overt users’ experiences.
This special DMPA-SC supplement of the journal Contraception includes 13 articles authored by several organizations on topics including task-sharing, contraceptive continuation, cost and cost-effectiveness, acceptability and feasibility, storage and disposal, and private sector provision across six countries.
Continuation of subcutaneous or intramuscular injectable contraception when administered by facility-based and community health workers: findings from a prospective cohort study in Burkina Faso and Uganda