Aliya Fahad is The Challenge Initiative’s (TCI’s) City Manager based in Islamabad. She supports the implementation and institutionalization of TCI’s high-impact practices and other interventions (HIPs & HIIs) in the federal capital territory. She also provides technical assistance to the District Health Office for improving family indicators in Islamabad.
Since it began working in Islamabad, TCI has been coaching government departments – such as the Department of Health (DoH) in how to implement the HIPs & HIIs. With support from TCI, the DoH conducted a Family Health Day (FHD) in January 2023 in an area called 17 Mile in Islamabad.
According to Fahad, before TCI began supporting Islamabad, these FHDs focused on addressing health areas such as skin conditions, vaccinations, and maternal and child health issues, but had few clients coming for family planning services. Prior to the January FHD, TCI supported local government efforts to use Lady Health Workers (LHWs) to mobilize married couples in the community to attend the FHD. She said a refresher session on family planning counseling skills was also conducted for in-house counselors, who helped clients choose a method and dispel myths and misconceptions for any apprehensive ones during the FHD.
All of these efforts led to 75 new family planning clients being seen during the FHD. Of those,18 clients opted for Injections, six received intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) and 13 got implants, while the rest chose short-term methods.
A comprehensive approach that included demand generation and advocacy in the community with LHWs before the FHD as well as the refresher course for family planning counselors ensured a successful day, Fahad noted.