223714 Reaching underserved populations with reproductive health services: What works

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:06 AM - 11:24 AM

Ubaidur Rob, PhD , Population Council Bangladesh, Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Md. Noorunnabi Talukder V , Population Council Bangladesh, Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Although Bangladesh has a comprehensive service delivery structure in rural areas, the utilization of facilities for family planning, maternal health and reproductive health services is alarmingly low. Several operations research studies were conducted to identify innovative, participatory and effective service delivery models for increased use of those services. Each of the studies used specific interventions, along with several generic interventions: strengthening health facilities; capacity building of service providers and fieldworkers; conducting targeted BCC activities; involving community in developing, implementing and monitoring.

A voucher mechanism was tested to address demand-side barriers, by providing financial assistance in the form of vouchers to poor pregnant women for receiving life saving obstetric care. Introduction of voucher scheme increased the utilization of trained providers during pregnancy and delivery by poor women. Another model investigated the feasibility of introducing male and youth friendly reproductive health services in female-focused service delivery points by establishing male and youth friendly corner and ensuring male service providers in these facilities. Due to interventions, clients flow to facilities increased remarkably and use of modern FP methods reported by the married men increased. A service delivery model was introduced to increase rational use of modern contraceptive methods according reproductive life cycle, which examined a combined involvement of fieldworkers and community volunteers for creating demand among eligible couples. This model yielded in an increase in the utilization of long-term and permanent methods. Overall, tailored demand-based strategies are necessary to increase utilization of services provided that facilities are well-functioning.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: Describe the factors that influence the utilization of maternal health, family planning and other reproductive health services. Identify the role of community in increasing the demand for services, and monitoring services for greater accountability.

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Utilization

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the development, implementation and evaluation of operations research projects in family planning/reproductive health program and undertake related policy advocacy
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.