JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

Successful Proof of Concept of Family Planning and Immunization Integration in Liberia

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Globally, unmet need for postpartum family planning remains high, while immunization services are among the most wide reaching and equitable interventions. Given overlapping time frames, integrating these services provides an opportunity to leverage existing health visits to offer women more comprehensive services. From March through November 2012, Liberia’s government, with support from the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), piloted an integrated family planning and immunization model at 10 health facilities in Bong and Lofa counties. Vaccinators provided mothers bringing infants for routine immunization with targeted family planning and immunization messages and same-day referrals to co-located family planning services.

In February 2013, we compared service statistics for family planning and immunization during the pilot against the previous year’s statistics. We also conducted in-depth interviews with service providers and other personnel and focus group discussions with clients. However, results suggest that introducing a simple model that is minimally disruptive to existing immunization service delivery can facilitate integration. The model is currently being scaled-up to other counties in Liberia, which could potentially contribute to increased postpartum contraceptive uptake, leading to longer birth intervals and improved health outcomes for children and mothers. By Chelsea M Coopera, JSI's Rebecca Fields, Corinne I Mazzeoc, Nyapu Taylord, Anne Pfitzera, Mary Momolue, Cuallau Jabbeh-Howee.

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