Improving the Quality of Family Planning and Reproductive Tract Infection Services for Urban Slum Populations
Population Council research is improving the quality of family planning services for urban slum populations in Bangladesh.
This project was conducted in financial collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Council conducted this operations research project in collaboration with several implementing partners, including the National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), RTM International, and ICDDR,B.
In urban slum areas of Bangladesh, nongovernmental organization (NGO) clinics provide family planning services, but these clinics often have focused on the fulfillment of quantitative targets rather than the quality of family planning services provided. According to the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, half of method acceptors use pills, one-quarter use injectables, and almost one in fifteen clients adopt sterilization. Effective programs to address the imbalance in the use of contraceptive methods chosen by clients have not been implemented.
To enhance the quality of family planning services provided by NGO clinics in urban slum areas, Population Council researchers conducted an operations research study with a separate sample pre-/post-test design. The study lasted six months and included training. Results indicated that the ability of service providers to provide effective counseling was enhanced. The intervention brought improvements in providers' competence in terms of screening clients appropriately for particular contraceptive methods and offering informed counseling. Findings also indicated improvements in providers' interpersonal interactions with clients. Researchers also observed that by using systematic screening, clients' unmet needs can be identified and the use of clinics is higher. Finally, results indicated increased satisfaction with services among clients.
The key lesson learned is that training contributes to improvement of services, but in order to achieve the expected level of quality in services, effective supervision and encouragement from senior officials is necessary.
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Location: Bangladesh (Dhaka)
Duration: 7/2007 - 12/2008
Canadian International Development Agency
United Nations Population Fund