The Tupange Project in Kenya: a multifaceted approach to increasing use of long-acting reversible contraceptives

Type Journal Article - Global Health: Science and Practice
Title The Tupange Project in Kenya: a multifaceted approach to increasing use of long-acting reversible contraceptives
Volume 4
Issue Supplement 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers S44-S59
Background: Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are safe and highly effective, and they have higher continuation rates than short-acting methods. Because only a small percentage of sexually active women in Kenya use LARCs, the Tupange project implemented a multifaceted approach to increase uptake of LARCs, particularly among the urban poor. The project included on-site mentoring, whole-site orientation, commodity security, quality improvement, and multiple demand-promotion and service-provision strategies, in the context of wide method choice. We report on activities in Nairobi between July 2011 and December 2014, the project implementation period.

Methods: We used a household longitudinal survey of women of reproductive age to measure changes in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) and other family planning-related variables. At baseline in July 2010, 2,676 women were interviewed; about 50% were successfully tracked and interviewed at endline in December 2014. A baseline service delivery point (SDP) survey of 112 health facilities and 303 service providers was conducted in July 2011, and an endline SDP survey was conducted in December 2014 to measure facility-based interventions. The SDP baseline survey was conducted after the household survey, as facilities were selected based on where clients said they obtained services.

Results: The project led to significant increases in use of implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs). Uptake of implants increased by 6.5 percentage points, from 2.4% at baseline to 8.9% by endline, and uptake of IUDs increased by 2.1 percentage points, from 2.2% to 4.3%. By the endline survey, 37.7% of clients using pills and injectables at baseline had switched to LARCs. Contraceptive use among the poorest and poor wealth quintiles increased by 20.5 and 21.5 percentage points, respectively, from baseline to endline. Various myths and misconceptions reported about family planning methods declined significantly between baseline and endline.

Conclusion: Training, commodity security, multiple service delivery models, and demand promotion were the cornerstones of a successful approach to reach the urban poor in Nairobi with LARCs.

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