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New Data Source Provides Rare Opportunity to Track the Supply of Contraceptives in Democratic Republic of Congo

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A new study published in Health Policy and Planning, uses data collected by Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) to track the supply of contraceptives in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 2014 and 2016. PMA2020’s unique annual data collection model provides an opportunity to track trend data on family planning unavailable from any other source in DRC. This article was written by Mr. Saleh Babazadeh, in collaboration with others at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Kinshasa School of Public Health.  

In the article, “Assessing the contraceptive supply environment in Kinshasa, DRC: trend data from PMA2020," the researchers note that of the more than 200 health service delivery points surveyed each year by PMA2020 (data was collected in 2014, 2015, and 2016), only two-thirds reported to offer family planning services. Of those reporting to offer family planning services, one-fifth or more did not do so on the day of the survey.

The authors identified some key challenges to delivery of family planning services in DRC, including:

+As of 2016, only one-half of the service delivery points offering family planning services had at least three methods of contraception available, (which is a proxy for  contraceptive choice); and only one in five had at least five methods.

+Long-acting reversible contraceptives, including implants and IUDs, were less widely offered and more often stocked out than other methods, including condoms,      pills, and injectables.

+Contraceptive stockouts were rampant: in 2016, over a quarter of the service delivery points offering family planning services experienced stockouts of all methods    (except condoms) in the previous three months, and two of the three most widely used methods – implants and injectables – were also the most likely to be stocked  out.

“The Government of the DRC has committed to some ambitious family planning goals for the country, the service delivery point module of the PMA2020 survey provides timely, actionable information to the DRC government, family planning implementing organizations, and donors involved in family planning service delivery in Kinshasa, DRC,” explains Mr. Babazadeh, ”Yet the value of this information will be determined by the ability of the local stakeholders to use it in bringing the needed improvement.”

PMA2020 uses innovative mobile technology to support low-cost, rapid-turnaround surveys to monitor key family planning and other health indicators on an annual basis. The program is implemented by local university and research organizations in 11 countries, deploying a cadre of female resident data collectors trained in mobile data collection. In DRC, PMA2020 is led by the University of Kinshasa’s School of Public Health, in collaboration with Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Overall direction and support is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read the full article here: https://academic.oup.com/heapol/article/4616250

Monday, November 13, 2017