TCI’s Coaching of Oussouye, Senegal, Along with Political Commitment Increases CPR
Contributor: Rokhayatou Gueye Sané
In Oussouye, a commune in the Ziguinchor region of Senegal, no budget line was dedicated to family planning. In fact, there was no specific workplan or action plan for family planning and the health commission was not functional, according to Babacar Ndiaye, The Challenge Initiative’s (TCI’s) Focal Point for Oussouye.
The distribution of financial resources granted by the municipality was left to the discretion of managers at the Oussouye health center. In addition, Oussouye did not have any partners to support it in operationalizing health policies.
But with TCI’s coaching support and commitment from Oussouye, the commune and the health district have benefited from greater collaboration by establishing coordination bodies to support and oversee the implementation of a high-impact family planning program. This started with an orientation of the municipal council on the importance of family planning advocacy and their role in securing financial resources, providing political support and serving as family planning champions
TCI has also provided Oussouye coaching support in provider capacity strengthening on universal referral, FP Special Days, postpartum family planning, reducing provider bias in support of youth-friendly health services, creating demand for services through religious leader champions, and the dissemination of radio spots. In addition, the youth transformational leaders (or JLT) are coached on family planning and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) advocacy and hold the Oussouye municipality accountable for its commitments to family planning and adolescent and AYSRH. Finally, TCI has helped Oussouye monitor its family planning activities and analyze the data to make course corrections.
The changes resulting from Oussouye’s engagement with TCI are many. Babacar Ndiaye highlighted a few below.
- The financial contribution for family planning and improved access to information to avoid unwanted pregnancies
- The close collaboration of the municipality and health system in the design and implementation of activities aimed at the accessibility, availability and quality of family planning services
- Greater community mobilization and improved engagement of youth in AYSRH matters
Oussouye, with the support of the Oussouye Health District, has decided to play an active role in the design and implementation of family planning activities. This has been actualized by a quick commitment from the new mayor, Ousmane Diallo, to work with TCI. In addition, the budget allocated to family planning has increased from 2,000,000 CFA ($3,000 USD) in 2019 to 2,500,000 CFA ($3,700 USD) in 2022, two adolescent- and youth-friendly health centers (Oussouye Health Center and Cabrousse Health Station) have been rehabilitated, an electronic newsletter dedicated to family planning has been created, and a sign was posted in Oussouye illustrating its vision and mission for family planning. Talks in teenage spaces have also been organized throughout Oussouye as well as in Cabrousse to ensure meaningful engagement with youth and to raise their awareness about AYSRH and the services available to them.
These efforts have resulted in an increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate in the health district of Oussouye, where TCI began engagement in 2019 during a provider strike in which family planning data was not being recorded. Since 2019, Oussouye has witnessed an impressive increase in CPR.