132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Strategies for rebuilding the "desirable births" program in DR Congo

Yvette Mulongo, Desirable Births, SANRU III, Ave. de la Justice, Kinshasa, Congo-Kinshasa, 234 98339339, yvettemulongo@sanru.org, Nlandu Mangani, MD, MPH, SANRU/Advance Africa, SANRU III, Ave. de la Justice, Kinshasa, Congo-Kinshasa, Felix Minuku, MD, MPH, Technical Coordination, SANRU III Basic Rural Health Project, Ave. de la Justice, Kinshasa-Gombe, Congo-Kinshasa, Suzanne Jessop, MPH, Santé de la Reproduction et Naissances Désirables, USAID / RDC, Mobil Building 198 Av. ISIRO, Kinshasa, Congo-Kinshasa, Issakha Diallo, MD DrPH, Project Director, Advance Africa Project, 4301 Fairfax Drive, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22203-1627, and Franklin Baer, DrPH, MHS-TM, Baertracks, 326 7th St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

Modern family planning programs began in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the early 1970s. The national program was intentionally named “Naissances Désirables” (Desirable Births) in order place the emphasis on child spacing rather than on limiting the number of births.

Desirable Births programs in Congo developed slowly but steadily over the next twenty years with leadership by a number of organizations and projects, e.g., AZBEF, PSND and SANRU I/II. However, the political and economic upheavals since 1991 disrupted supply lines, information communication, continuing training, and health services. Consequently, access to and utilization of modern contraceptive methods decreased drastically.

The SANRU III Basic Rural Health project, with funding primarily from USAID, is currently helping the Ministry of Health rebuild and revitalize the Desirable Births program. SANRU III is a $25,000,000 cooperative agreement managed by Interchurch Medical Assistance (I.M.A.) and the Protestant Church of Congo (ECC) to provide comprehensive development assistance to 56 of Congo’s 306 health zones.

Last year the project, with technical assistance from Advance Africa, conducted an assessment of reproductive health activities in health zones to identify “positive deviant” best practices that have been sustained over the years. These positive experiences include maintained information systems, continuing in service training and supervision, reproductive health education materials, minilaparotomy in small rural hospitals, and community-based volunteer “relays.” This paper discusses these assessment findings and presents SANRU’s program strategies to rebuild the Desirable Births program that are now being implemented in twenty-two health zones.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation participants will be able to

Related Web page: sanru.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Reproductive Health in Emergency and Conflict Settings

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA