Living Goods-supported community health workers (CHWs) began offering family planning counseling services in 2018 and expanded these services to include delivery of short-term methods and client referrals for long-term and permanent methods. 2019 was the first full year Living Goods-supported CHWs provided family planning services, and, at the end of the year, we observed an increase in family planning coverage, as well as maternal, neonatal and child health care results.
In order to help women access family planning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Living Goods enacted no- and low-touch protocols to continue refills for Sayana Press, a hormonal birth control injection, and is exploring the possibilities for self-injection of Sayana Press. CHWs have continued to focus on providing referrals to women to ensure they can still access family planning methods. In the second quarter of this year, we witnessed an increase in the number of women who took up a contraception method.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent responses have negatively impacted supply chains, resulting in unanticipated stock outs. In a webinar hosted by Devex and Bayer, experts predicted that an additional 46 million women will not be able to access family planning methods. 1
This year’s World Contraception Day is more important than ever as women are experiencing less access to family planning and other health services. Together, the global community must continue to work “…to improve awareness of all contraceptive methods available and enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.” 2
1 Webinar: The Power of Choice: Ensuring Access to Family Planning in the COVID Era, hosted by Devex and Bayer, July 10, 2020.