Changing the way communities think
about family planning
The Population Council completed the highly successful Family Advancement for Life and Health (FALAH) project in 2011. This family planning initiative increased contraceptive use by 28 percent in less than four years in conservative areas of Pakistan, with the highest increases among poor, rural, and younger couples. The project promoted the idea of healthy "birth spacing" to protect women and infants, and engaged the support of religious leaders who exert strong influence over family planning decisions. Government health ministers are committed to expanding the FALAH approach nationwide with support from development partners.
Defining the continuum of care
The Population Council is changing the way Kenya thinks about caring for pregnant women. In 2011, the Council developed and tested a new model for training community midwives, who are more skilled than traditional birth attendants but are often not equipped to offer the kind of antenatal and postpartum care that women receive at a clinic or hospital. Our model increased the number of antenatal visits made by women, strengthened midwives' ability to handle pregnancy complications, and improved the quality and quantity of postpartum care, including family planning. As a result, the Kenyan government updated national guidelines for midwives to incorporate antenatal and postpartum care, including family planning.