In Their Words: TCI Making an Impact in East Africa
From ministry of health staff to family planning providers, East Africans are applauding TCI’s “business unusual” model and the impact it is having in their countries.
Increasing Family Planning Commitment
Iganga District in Uganda this year had the largest increase in family planning funding among all the TCI geographies in East Africa. Iganga increased their family planning commitment more than 500%, going from $9,000 in Year 1 of TCI to $55,000 in Year 2. Their political leadership is owning the family planning program and closely monitoring the utilization of funds.
“Nowadays, our political leaders are interested in knowing how much of the geography money we are spending in family planning. They ask about how much TCI has put on the table. Before TCI came on board, these leaders were not asking such accountability related questions because no money was committed for family planning.”
– Joy Kisira, Nursing Officer, Iganga, Uganda.
Higher Demand Leads MOH to Allocate More Resources
When Dr. Placid Mihayo, a Senior Consultant at the Ministry of Health in Uganda, opened a TCI “Data for Decision-Making” workshop in December 2018, he made the following comment about how increased demand for family planning services has influenced the Ministry of Health’s family planning strategy and resource allocation:
“Previously, the FP supplies at the National Medical Store were not being utilized because the demand was low. We used to procure only a few methods like pills and injectables because these were the ones on demand. However, we have recently realized a sudden increase in the uptake of FP services and an unusual demand for other methods like implanon NXT. Consequently, our stock is being depleted so fast. To address this, we are now promoting method mix and have increased the Ministry of Health (MoH) budget to meet this demand.”
– Dr. Placid Mihayo, Senior Consultant, Ministry of Health, Uganda.
Whole-Site Orientation Increases FP Acceptors
Joyce Muna is a registered nurse at the Tandale Health Centre in Kinodoni District in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania. She has seen a marked increase in the number of family planning acceptors since TCI introduced the whole-site orientation approach at her health facility.
“The number of FP acceptors have significantly increased in this health center. Previously, we had less than 10 FP acceptors in a week, but now we have between 30 and 50 acceptors weekly. We have also noticed an increase in the number of clients who are youth (15-24 years), which was not the case before. There is now better FP method mix. Previously, clients preferred short-term methods like pills, injections and condoms but now more prefer long-term methods like intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implanon.”
– Joyce Muna, Registered Nurse, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania
Using Technology to Access TCI
Samuel Kaswari, a Nursing Officer from Mukono Municipality in Uganda, has now purchased a smart phone so he can have easy and direct access to TCI University and the near-real-time reporting application used in East Africa known as ODK.
“Before TCI, I was not interested in smart phones but recently, I had to acquire one because I wanted to increase my access to the TCI University and submit my reports through ODK.”
– Samuel Kaswari, Nursing Officer, Mukono, Uganda.
View the winning photos from The Challenge Initiative for Healthy Cities' (TCIHC) Photo Quest in 2020, a year marked primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramatou Idrissa – a reproductive health focal person in Niamey, Niger – helps implement Family Planning Special Days, a TCI approach where family planning services are offered free of charge on specified days.
Dr. Anshu Saxena witnessed firsthand what happens to women without access to contraception, which is why she has committed herself to getting women family planning information and access.
TCI is helping women in Tanzania with their reproductive health goals through family planning in-reaches and outreaches.