202910 Scaling up approaches to promote constructive men's engagement in reproductive health

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:10 AM

Britt L. Herstad, MA , USAID | Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1, Futures Group International, Washington, DC
Modibo Maiga , USAID | Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1, Futures Group International, Bamako, Mali
Ken Morrison , USAID | Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1, Futures Group International, Washington, DC
Timothe Dao , Consultant to USAID | Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1, Futures Group International, Bamako, Mali
Mali has a low modern contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) and there is national concern about high maternal and neonatal mortality rates. Despite men's central role in families' decisionmaking related to health, they often are not included in RH programs. Health programs often prioritize women's RH, despite men's need for information and services related to family planning and their own RH. To address this issue at the policy level, the USAID | Health Policy Initiative worked with the Ministry of Health's RH Division and a multisectoral group to draft a national guide on constructive men's engagement (CME) in RH to support Mali's National RH Strategy. With the approval of the CME guide, Mali's government has made a commitment to improving men's RH for the first time. This commitment includes support for cultural changes specifically related to gender norms that typically discount men's RH needs. To begin making such changes, the project initiated one of the strategies in the guide, partnering with a local organization working with men in RH to design and pilot an innovative module to train community peer educators in counseling couples on joint decisionmaking and communicating more openly on RH matters. The work of the trained educators resulted in increases in men's attention to their wives' RH; in accompanying their wives to health centers for prenatal care visits; and in the demand for contraceptives. The project shows that a national policy commitment to men's CME and local-level support through pilot activities can improve the overall health environment for men and women.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of developing guidelines for constructive menís engagement (CME) in family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) programs and policies. Articulate results from a CME intervention in Mali.

Keywords: Male Reproductive Health, International Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the project manager for this activity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.