265794 Involving community members in family planning activities: Lessons learned from an operations research

Monday, October 29, 2012

Md. Mahabub Ul Anwar , Department of Public Health Sciences, East West Center Student Fellow, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Ubaidur Rob, PhD , Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh has established a vast network of primary health care facilities, but the impact of extensive health service network has been much less than expected because these services do not reach all regions effectively due to the lack of trained human resources at the local level. Moreover, in near future a large number of government local level family planning (FP) workforces will be retiring soon. There is an apprehension that shortage of well trained, skilled and competent field workers will slow down the FP program performance across the country. In this regard, the community members can be involved in FP activities in close association with the government staff. To involve community members an operations research was conducted in selected four low-performing rural areas in Bangladesh. Community Support Group (CSG) was formed and Peer Promoters were selected and trained. In addition, the local level family planning committee has been reactivated. Experiences suggest that CSG members meet monthly to monitor and discuss the status of service delivery points as well as services. Local level family planning committee is holding monthly meeting and identifying problems and probable solutions. Some of the committee members are providing financial support to improve the physical condition of service delivery points. Findings also suggest that the peer promoters are using developed BCC materials and are effective to increase the knowledge of the community people on FP methods and available services. Findings of the study will help researchers develop effective interventions to involve community members in FP services.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn the health care structure of Bangladesh; 2. Identify the mechanisms for selecting community members for community support group and peer promoters; 3. Identify the mechanism to involve community members in health care system.

Keywords: Community Involvement, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator of this study
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.