Increasing access to the intrauterine device (IUD), as part of a comprehensive method mix, is a key strategy for reducing unintended pregnancy and maternal mortality in low-income countries. To expand access to IUDs within the framework of informed choice, PSI has historically supported increased IUD service delivery through private providers. In applying a total market lens to better understand the family planning market and address major market gaps, PSI identified a lack of high-quality public provision of IUDs.
In 2013, PSI started a pilot in four countries (Guatemala, Laos, Mali, and Uganda) to grow public-provider IUD service delivery through increased public-sector engagement while maintaining its ongoing focus on private providers. In collaboration with country governments, PSI affiliates carried out family planning market analyses in the four pilot countries to identify gaps in IUD service delivery and create sustainable strategies for scaling up IUD services in the public sector. Country-specific interventions to increase service delivery were implemented across all levels of the public health system, including targeted advocacy at the national level to promote government ownership and program sustainability. Mechanisms to ensure government ownership were built into the program design, including a proof-of-concept approach to convince governments of the feasibility and value of taking over and scaling up interventions.
In the first two years of the pilot (2013–2014), 102,055 IUD services were provided to women at 417 targeted public-sector facilities. These preliminary results suggest that there is untapped demand for IUD service delivery in the public sector that can be met in part through greater participation of the public sector in family planning and IUD provision.