TCI Coaching Leads to Improved Family Planning Program in Gombe State, Nigeria
Contributors: Beeve Hua and Yakubu Abubakar
Since partnering with The Challenge Initiative (TCI) in July 2021, Gombe State has been scaling up family planning and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) best practices to improve health systems and increase contraceptive access. TCI has coached the state government health staff through a series of capacity-strengthening activities, including on-the-job training to address coordination, documentation, and clarifying roles and responsibilities.
Mrs. Sambo Omar, the Family Planning Coordinator in Gombe State, noted that before partnering with TCI, she was unsure how to improve the poorly functioning family planning program. Challenges included a lack of coordination of family planning programs in the State, poor documentation, and problems with the family planning fiscal process (which involves developing memos to obtain approvals for the release of family funds). She said:
I assumed my current role almost at the same time TCI came to the State, and for me, TCI was like a university because I learned almost everything to make me excel in this position through TCI. TCI coached me on how to prepare a standard memo and follow up on a submitted memo for successful approval. And by God’s grace, I will soon have one of the memos I submitted approved.”
Also, the RAISE tool has helped me tremendously to assess not just the performance of the system but my performance. I always know exactly where I am supposed to improve or work harder using the RAISE tool.”
Mrs. Sambo said she has notice lately many changes in attitudes and practices within the health system at varying levels:
TCI strategies have helped change behaviors even at the LGA and community levels. For instance, QIT (quality improvement teams) has helped unite the facility and the community, which has brought a good synergy in addressing some of the misconceptions and quality issues not addressed before the coming of TCI. The WSO (whole site orientation) was an eye-opener to all the untrained clinical staff in facilities. The state is currently planning to scale up the WSO to other additional facilities because it has helped address misconceptions spread by some of these non-clinical staff. I can go on and on. Looking at the social mobilizer trained specifically on family planning, they have been mobilizing so many clients to the facilities.”
Thanks to these successful outcomes as a result of the partnership, Mrs. Sambo asked TCI to extending its capacity-strengthening efforts and TCI University to other LGAs and facilities in her state. She added that she is very hopeful that the state will release funds to adapt the proven concepts for family planning/AYSRH implementation and sustain it, as demonstrated by TCI.