Strengthening contraceptive services in sub Saharan Africa is critical to achieve the FP 2020 goal of enabling 120 million more women and girls to access and use contraceptives by 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets of universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services including family planning by 2030.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have designed a multifaceted project to strengthen health systems to reduce the unmet need of contraceptive and family planning services in sub Saharan Africa. The plan leverages global, regional and national partnerships to facilitate and increase the use of evidence based WHO guidelines with a specific focus on postpartum family planning. The four key approaches undertaken are i) making WHO Guidelines adaptable & appropriate for country use ii) building capacity of WHO regional/country staff iii) providing technical support to countries and iv) strengthening partnerships for introduction and implementation of WHO guidelines. This paper describes the project design and elaborates the multifaceted approaches required in initial implementation to strengthen contraceptive services.
The initial results from this project reflect that simultaneous application these approaches may strengthen contraceptive services in Sub Saharan Africa and ensure sustainability of the efforts. The lessons learned may be used to scale up and expand services in other countries.