In July 2021, USAID’s Research for Scalable Solutions (R4S) project, led by FHI 360, released the Drug Shop Operators' Provision of Injectable Contraception manual. The handbook shows how drug shop operators can coordinate with the public health system to safely provide an expanded method mix that includes injectables, as well as training for clients on self-injection. The handbook was developed in Uganda in partnership with the National Drug Shop Task Team but can be adapted to various contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Knowledge SUCCESS’ contibuting writer Brian Mutebi talked to Fredrick Mubiru, Family Planning Technical Advisor at FHI 360 and one of the key resource persons involved in the development of the handbook, about its significance and why people should use it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disordered the livelihoods of adolescents and young people across Uganda’s communities in many ways. With the first COVID-19 wave in March 2020 came the adoption of containment measures, such as the closure of schools, movement restrictions, and self-isolation. As a result, the health and well-being of young people, especially adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) in Uganda, took a hit.
FHI 360’s Catherine Packer shares a personal perspective on DMPA-SC’s past ten years, from early research to recent workshops. Since its introduction—and particularly since it became available for self-injection—DMPA-SC has become an important part of the global family planning and reproductive health landscape.
The Knowledge SUCCESS East African team engaged its partners at Living Goods East Africa (Kenya and Uganda) for an in-depth discussion on their community health strategy for implementing programs and how innovations are essential towards enhancing global development.
Community health workers (CHWs) used digital health technology to advance access to family planning care at the community level. CHWs are a critical component of any strategy to bring health services closer to people. The piece calls on policy makers and technical advisors to sustain investments in the digitization of community health programs to reduce unmet need for family planning.
In a variety of ways that suit their contexts, countries around the world have adapted international guidance on providing family planning care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tracking the extent to which these new policies are successful in maintaining women’s access to safe, high-quality care will provide valuable lessons for responses to future public health emergencies.
Donors and a small group of implementing partners are working to understand how to best support and involve drug shops as safe and reliable family planning providers. Expanding the broader community of family planning professionals’ understanding of the drug shop operators’ impact is going to be important for ensuring a supportive policy and programmatic environment for these providers.