The total population of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is about 133 million people and growing. Yet, many women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods. The reasons range from lack of access to information, services and community support to limited government engagement in programming.
However, the scene is changing and nine cities in Kenya (Kilifi, Nairobi and Mombasa), Uganda (Buikwe, Busia, Iganga and Mukono) and Tanzania (Ilala, Ubungo) have signed up to an innovative family planning investment – The Challenge Initiative, locally implemented as Tupange Pamoja. The Initiative will complement the cities own commitment to increase access to quality family planning, and adapt approaches that will improve the financing and performance of health systems that support these services. In return, the Initiative offers financing and technical coaching to implement the high-impact family planning solutions targeting the urban poor.
Some of the approaches to be implemented include integrated community outreaches, whole-site orientations at facilities in poor urban settlements and the recruitment of family planning champions. This will improve several crucial service delivery points such as health workers’ skills and capability, ensure that the right policies are in place, support the delivery of services and promote healthy behavior changes. Tupange Pamoja will also work with the government and other development partners to ensure the sustainability and ownership of the Initiative’s coordinated approach to increase voluntary use of modern contraceptives among the urban poor.
The momentum has been generated – a proven family planning roadmap that is government led and sustained.
Contributors: Allan Katamba, Peter Kagwe and Rose Mnzava