Collaborating with professional organizations, such as the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies (FOGSI), can play a critical role in promoting quality family planning services. With this intent, The Challenge Initiative (TCI) India in Uttar Pradesh joined forces with FOGSI to expand the service provider base to better meet the family planning needs of the urban poor.
Sachin Kapil, the District Urban Health Coordinator (DUHC) for the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), is a master coach in Saharanpur, who shared:
With TCI India’s coaching, we learned that the HMIS should be regularly reviewed. During one such review, we identified that over 71 private facilities were mapped in HMIS but not reporting data. To explore ways of seeking their data contribution, we shortlisted 28 facilities (which included maternity homes and Hausala Sajheedari accredited facilities) to coach their staff on high impact approaches and how to implement them.
Private providers were initially disinterested due to their busy schedules and perception of HMIS forms being too lengthy. A ‘sensitization workshop’ for private providers would be required. We reached out to the President of the Saharanpur Obstetric and Gynaecological Society (SOGS) and organized a public-private interface where the NUHM department and SOGS members participated. This meeting alluded to the increasing family planning needs of the community, various government family planning schemes and how FP could be a hook for other services offered at their clinics. Then, all of us received coaching on HMIS indicators (related to maternal health, immunization, and family planning) and how to accurately fill out HMIS reports. We also invited private providers to our quarterly city coordination committee (CCC) meetings.”
Additionally, he shared that during the world population day (WPD) fortnight and world contraception day (WCD) activities, they provided a set of job aids to counsel eligible clients on informed choices.
Dr. Meenal Goel, the President of SOGS, also expressed during the meeting:
When I was in high school, we had a domestic maid who had six kids, but due to low socio-economic status, children were deprived of education and basic necessities. At a very young age, this incident made me realize the importance of a small family. I am pleased that I am promoting family planning services with the government and TCI India. Private providers in Saharanpur have begun to focus on family planning services. They attend government-organized meetings. During the meetings, they discuss their problems and seek solutions. This year, all private providers enthusiastically celebrated WPD and WCD. I intend to continue coaching private providers via public-private interface meeting platforms.”
Later, Goel issued a letter to private providers encouraging them to routinely provide family planning services to post-abortion and postpartum clients, as well as to eligible clients, and report data to the government.
Decisions Taken in Public-Private Interface Meetings
- Private facilities will report family planning, deliveries, and immunization services data for HMIS upload by the 25th of each month.
- Private providers will be trained in PPIUCD techniques by master trainers in the city.
- Private facilities will maintain separate family planning and ANC/PNC service registers.
As shown in the private sector family planning HMIS data below private sector engagement activities started showing results. There was a substantial increase in family planning services uptake and reporting as apparent from April 2022 to September 2022 data compared to the same period the previous year.
The public-private convergence has increased local engagement and widened the network of service providers capable of meeting the community’s family planning needs in Saharanpur.