158107 Tackling urban poor inequalities in access to FP/RH services

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 9:30 AM

Merce M. Gasco, MD , International Divission, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., Boston, MA
Diane Hedgecock, MPH , John Snow Inc., Arlington, VA
Social inequalities accessing FP/RH services are prominent in Romania for urban people with low socio-economic status (SES) and ethnic minorities (Roma).. Different determinants including services' organization, client's beliefs and provider capacity generate critical barriers in access of vulnerable populations and contribute to disparities in health status, access health system and health knowledge

Local public and private institutions, including Mayor's Offices, health, social, child protection authorities, police and representatives of the civil society, signed formal agreements to constitute Local Coordination Groups (LCG) in the eleven most populated cities in Romania. LCGs mapped vulnerable populations in their cities, analyzed their needs, developed appropriate interventions impacting the key determinants (health system, provider and service delivery) and developed policy changes to reduce accessibility and cultural barriers.

During 2005-2006, more than 500 doctors and nurses were trained in FP counseling and 1,100 social workers to provide information about benefits of FP. Improved communication across partners and more effective and efficient use of their resources. New FP/RH integrated services created leveraging local resources and others adapted to serve target populations. More than 110,000 beneficiaries attended information sessions and almost half million exposed to the “True women” mini-series broadcasted at local TVs. Local sustainable action plans developed by each LCG including financial support.

Local public-private partnerships narrowed the gap between socioeconomic groups and increased equity to access FP/RH services by pooling resources across agencies, increasing provider's capacity to communicate, tailoring services to client preferences, developing cultural appropriated inter-personal communication and promoting policy changes.

Learning Objectives:
1.Advocate for the development and operationalizing the constitution of Local Partnerships to tackle health disparities 2.Apply the process of pooling resources across health and social sectors 3.Articulate the strategy for policy change at local level to reduce barriers accessing health services

Keywords: Partnerships, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.