Taking Family Planning to the Village: Using mobile outreach services to increase access to family planning in rural Togo

Taking_Family_Palanning_to_the_Village_Togo.pdf

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In Togo, where there is a severe shortage of trained health workers, particularly outside of urban areas, we added a dedicated mobile team to provide mobile outreach activities in the interior areas of the country not covered by its existing network. The mobile team, made up of three trained health providers and a driver, travels with its own supplies, including exam beds, scales, medical waste disposal bin, and two large tents, in addition to a broad range of contraceptive methods. The team uses village health facilities when available to provide services.

The demand for long-acting reversible contraceptives in rural areas is so high that mobile services accounted for the majority provided by PSI/Togo. From January through May 2013, 58 percent of all long-acting reversible contraceptives provided by PSI/Togo were through mobile outreach activities (6,329 implants and 681 IUDs). The majority are first-time contraceptive users, which is typical for mobile outreach in sub-Saharan African countries. The high proportion of first-time users suggests that mobile outreach is effective in reaching women who have never used family planning and who might not otherwise have access to modern contraceptives.