Online Program

Addressing access barriers to family planning and reproductive health services in bihar, India- The ‘smart' way

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shuvi Sharma, Ms, Futures Group International, Gurgaon, India
Lalitha Iyer, 10B DLF Cyber city, DLF Phase 2, Futures Group International, gurgaon, India
Geetali Trivedi, MA, Urban Health Initiative, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School/Center for Communication Programs, Lucknow, India
Suneeta Sharma, PhD, MHA, Futures Group International, FuturesGroup, Washington, DC
Heer Chokshi, Ms, Communication and Program Development, Futures Group International India, Gurgaon, India
Methodology: A rapid assessment was conducted in the month of February 2013 using qualitative research methods including observations of health facilities and services, key informant interviews with state and district level health functionaries (24)and focus group discussions (9), representatives from local organisations and programs(18).

Key findings: On the demand side, knowledge about contraceptives is low along with myths and misbeliefs; sterilization is most common but adopted after high parity. The demand for spacing is absent with concurrent lack of access to spacing methods. Women don't feel empowered to make decisions about their own fertility, and abortions are widely prevalent. Men are unable to discuss FP with women health workers(ASHA). On the supply side, under-resourced public facilities; paucity of trained service providers for sterilizations and IUCD; health staff unaware of health welfare schemes that they can use to motivate clients; and salaries and payments to staff are delayed, resulting in lowered motivation. Private providers are present: rural medical practitioners at the village level and qualified providers at the block level. Many have not been accredited to provide PPP services and have no or few contraceptive stocks.

Results: Cellphones, which are common in households, may be used to increase demand for health services and behavior change; large youth population needs to be reached to make ‘smart' health decisions; build new avenues for PPP; tap the vast network of informal providers for referrals; use existing entrepreneur models to reach the remotest clients with contraceptives.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the barriers to access family planning and reproductive health services in Bihar for program designing.

Keyword(s): Family Planning, Public/Private Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 13 years experience in the development sector- designing and managing large and small scale, strategic, strategic communication and advocacy programs in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state governments,and other stakeholders on maternal, adolescent and child health and family planning. I have designed and executed multiple 360 degree campaigns that include audio video, print & digital media, performing arts, event-based activities for marketing, advocacy, brand building and behavior change.
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.