Lucknow, July 11: A unique initiative to strengthen family planning programme in Uttar Pradesh, rolled out by HLFPPT and US-based Population Services International (PSI), is significantly expanding and increasing contraceptive choices among people residing in urban slums of India’s most populous state.
Funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative, titled, ‘Expand Access and Quality to Broaden Method Choice in UP’, is being jointly implemented by Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), a front-ranking voluntary body in the health sector, and PSI.
The programme, with a focus on training and accreditation of health facilities on family planning service, has been making positive impact with an appreciable increase in use of condoms, insertion of IUCDs and use of oral contraceptive pills and Injectables.
HLFPPT CEO Sharad Agarwal said the programme is intended to increase the use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) and Long-Acting & Permanent Methods (LAPM) by expanding choice and access among men and women residing in urban slums of 32 districts in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.
“The programme leverages the existing franchisee health facilities instituted by the two implementing partners in the 32 districts of the state (17 districts covered by HLFPPT and 15 by PSI). It aims at training and accreditations of these health facilities on family planning service with a focus on integrating LARC and LAPMs,” he said.
“Training, quality assurance and accreditation are the focus areas under the programme,” he added.
The 17 districts being covered by HLFPPT are Amethi, Badaun, Baghpat, Bahraich, Ballia, Chandauli, Etah, Gonda, Jaunpur, Jhansi, Kanpur Dehat, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Shahjahanpur, Siddharthnagar, Sitapur and Unnao.
As an implementing partner, HLFPPT facilitates accreditation of health service providers having a high client flow. These providers are then trained in accordance with government guidelines and provided supportive supervision to ensure high quality services, including counselling on family planning methods like female sterilizations, IUCD insertions, Injectables, condoms and oral contraceptive pills.
The intended objectives of the programme are to increase access of family planning and reproductive health services among women of reproductive age and augment quality contraceptive choices available to men in identified urban slum areas. In addition, it seeks to increase demand for LAPMs among women of reproductive age in urban slums and create an enabling environment for the private sector participation in government family planning schemes.
For a successful implementation of the programme, HLFPPT has implemented a multi-pronged strategy, which includes identification of eligible facilities for accreditation; orientation workshop and technical support to the facilities in terms of online application, community meetings, Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) campaigns and regular quality audits.
Further, a Folk Van activity has been launched, which promotes family planning and use of contraceptives, builds rapport with the community, and promotes the health facility accreditation for urban slums.
For the advocacy of the programme, meetings are held with district health officials regularly for accreditation and empanelment of private health facilities. Fixed Day Service (FDS) is organised every month at online accredited health facilities to provide all family planning services on the fixed day.
The programme team also provides supportive supervision to service providers for female sterlisations, IUCD services as well as family planning counselling to ensure clients have access to informed choices. In addition, quality assurance team conducts regular quality audits of health facilities and has developed a quality guideline under which standardised monitoring tool is used for rating the health facilities.
Another feature of the programme is training of paramedics and counsellors like staff nurse, pharmacy and pathology staff, ward boys, maids and sweepers in topics like family planning counselling, infection prevention and waste management.
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