From March 20 to 22, Society for Family Health (SFH) was among an array of local and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that participated at the inaugural Evidence For Impact Research Symposium dubbed, ‘translating research into gains for primary an community health in Zambia’ held at Lusaka’s Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
SFH used this occasion to showcase its prowess in research and provision of innovative health solutions to the outside world by making presentations and mounting exhibition stand during the three-day symposium, which brought together scores of health-care professionals and researchers representing the Ministry of Health, donors, and implementing partners, as well as stakeholders in the health sector.
The event, which was co-funded by the United States- Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), focused on Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn, Child and Adolescent health and Nutrition (RMNCA-N) services in primary care and community settings.
And making presentation during the parallel panel session on the Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Subcutatious (DMPA- SC) pilot research findings, SFH Deputy Country Representative and Sexual and Reproductive for All Initiative (SARAI) project Chief-of-Party Gina Smith revealed that research has demonstrated that the Community-Based Distributors (CBDs) can safely provide DMPA-SC.
Mrs. Smith further indicated that during the pilot study, which took place from May to July 2017 last year, it was discovered that DMPA SC reached a significant number of adolescent and young women, a move that fulfils various fulfils commitments, including FP2020.
SFH conducted the pilot study in the USAID-funded SARAI supported public health facilities in Kalulushi, Kawambwa and Mafinga.
The objectives of the pilot study were: to assess the feasibility of introduction of the prefilled injectable to the community through CBDs; to evaluate acceptability of the new method by the community; and to share lessons learnt that will inform national scale-up.
During the event, SFH staff also took turns to explain and interpret the poster presentation titled, ‘shifting the Family Planning method mix needle in Zambia’ to patrons, highlighting that the introduction of dedicated and off-duty FP service delivery models combined with community based interventions increases uptake of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) under the SARAI project.
The poster also indicated that project has demonstrated that use of CBDs to generate demand for FP methods and capacity building of public FP providers significantly increases method mix especially LARCs, hence the need to maintain equilibrium between the demand created for FP methods and the accessibility of the services as the models are also sustainable since they use existing MoH facility structures.