Marcos D. Arevalo, MD, MPH, Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, 4301 Connectict Ave NW Suite 310, Washington, DC 20008, 202-687-1392, email@example.com
Unwanted pregnancy places women at high risk of maternal mortality and morbidity. As part of the national strategy to improve maternal and perinatal health, the Ministry of Health in Peru conducted a pilot study to incorporate the Standard Days Method (SDM), a simple fertility awareness-based method of FP, into the services it provides in the department of San Martin (total population 570,000, 61% rural, with a modern-method prevalence of 58%, plus 12% prevalence of rhythm and 3% of folk practices). Before the study, there were two opposing concerns: a) that adding the SDM to the method mix would draw women away from other established methods, or b) that there would be very low demand for the SDM. The pilot study showed that neither of these occurred. Data from MOH service statistics showed that demand for the SDM stabilized at 5 to 6% of all new FP users by the end of the first year following the introduction of the method. According to evidence from interviews with over 1000 SDM users, over 95% were not consistently using any reliable method of FP before starting the SDM. The MOH is now scaling-up SDM services in other parts of the country. This paper will discuss the importance of providing FP methods appropriate for all potential users, and show how even in settings with high prevalence of modern methods, there is a large unmet need, which can be successfully addressed by offering simple natural methods.
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA