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Story and Perspective

Ensuring Access to Contraception During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted essential health care worldwide, with deep impacts on sexual and reproductive health services.

To ensure availability of contraceptive services, Pathfinder swiftly adapted to continue service delivery, training, and programs that share information about contraception, reaching millions of people. On World Contraception Day, we share several examples of this work.

Community Health Worker discusses contraceptive methods with a client.

Naya Qadam—Pakistan:
A communications campaign engaging influencers, community outreach workers, religious leaders, mobile vehicles, and using SMS (short message service) promoted post-pregnancy contraceptive services and health-seeking behaviors in six districts of Pakistan.

  • 3+ million people reached through cable TV announcements, 2.4+ million people reached through community announcements, and 120,900 people reached through mosque announcements.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, Naya Qadam reached 263,000 people with contraceptive services, more than doubling those reached by the program the year prior.
Community Health Worker and client in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Transform: Primary Health Care—Ethiopia:
USAID Transform integrated COVID-19 awareness with sexual and reproductive health care to ensure essential services have safely continued in Ethiopia.

  • 35+ million individuals reached with key messages about COVID-19 prevention, contraceptive services, and other essential health issues using mobile vans and audio-mounted vehicles.
  • 800+ health extension workers from nearly 700 health posts trained to safely provide Implanon, a long-term contraceptive, and other contraceptive options at 36 primary health care units.
Nakato Joyce, an FPA Youth Officer, speaks to Sauda Nakato and partner Peter Mukasa at the Kitimba Health Center III, Butambala District, Central Uganda

Uganda Family Planning Activity:

Community health workers (CHWs) went door-to-door, providing short-acting contraceptives to community members. This included reaching young people who are often hesitant to seek services from reproductive health centers.

  • 500 CHWs trained to provide health education, counseling, and short-term contraception in communities.
  • To prevent reoccurring stock-outs, the program helped to redistribute contraceptive commodities and methods from areas of surplus to areas of shortage, ensuring every health center can serve its community.

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