Community-Based Family Planning

MSH has a long history of bringing health services to people where they live, bolstering the capacity of local partners to dramatically expand community-based care, especially key maternal, neonatal, child health, and family planning services.

This experience has provided us with the knowledge, expertise, and tools to help quickly scale up community health programs and improve community health workers’ leadership. MSH strengthens the management of community-based FP services through practical improvements in logistics and supply-chain management, health management information systems, human resources, financial management, community health worker performance, patient flow and referral, and recordkeeping and reporting.

We have extensive experience in training—and retraining—community health workers. In many countries, MSH works with religious leaders and has demonstrated that culturally sensitive approaches can increase the use of family planning. One of these approaches is encouraging healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy so births are spaced three or more years apart. A child whose parents use the healthiest spacing of pregnancy is more than twice as likely to survive the first five years of life than a child who is born more closely spaced. Birth spacing also increases a mother’s chances of surviving childbirth by up to two and one-half times and reduces the risk of low birth weight, maternal anemia, preterm birth, stillbirth, and third-trimester bleeding. Birth spacing focuses on achieving the healthiest pregnancy outcomes.

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