Using TCI University to Strengthen Health System Capacity in Migori County, Kenya
Contributors: Nancy Aloo and Njeri Mbugua
Health systems strengthening is key for providing quality family planning and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) programs. Quality translates to client satisfaction and increased access to health services, including contraceptive services, leading to reductions in unmet need for contraception. Continuous professional development and the coaching approach used by The Challenge Initiative (TCI) provide health providers with opportunities to stay up-to-date on the latest guidance and updates in the family planning field. TCI, referred to as Tupange Pamoja in East Africa, has found health providers eager to study its high-impact approaches because they offer practical guidance that address common challenges faced when delivering quality contraceptive services, especially when it comes to serving adolescents and youth. TCI offers this guidance through its online platform, TCI University (TCI-U).
Dorothy Logedi, a Registered Nurse in Migori County, Kenya, said:
When TCI came to our county, the goal was to increase access to quality contraceptive services to girls and women of reproductive age. One such way was to increase family planning service delivery points through integration. I am in charge of immunization activities in my sub county and I have witnessed firsthand young people bringing their children to the facility for immunization with zero knowledge about contraception and felt that they could have be and should be informed about contraceptive methods and how to access contraceptive services.”
Local governments have been partnering with international nongovernmental organizations and trainers to build and strengthen the capacity of health providers for quality family planning services. However, sometimes the training resources may not adequately address the gaps in skills and capacity due to the large number of health providers that need to be trained. Initiatives such as the TCI and its online learning platform reduce the complexities, allowing providers to better themselves while doing what they love doing most. Logedi noted that:
Many young people are concerned with their sexual and reproductive health, particularly pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV, yet unfriendly health providers, among other reasons, prevent them from accessing these services yet they need them. In order to see an improvement in our indicators, I had to equip myself with more knowledge so I went onto TCI University. I have taken time to learn all of the modules that I feel will help me deliver quality adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive services within the immunization clinic.”
This kind of mindset shift ensures that local government implementers at the county level are driving the change that they want to see.
While I’ve seen improved immunization coverage, the most significant change that I’ve witnessed is the uptake of long-acting, reversible family planning methods and uptake of contraceptive methods by adolescents. This has been achieved by using TCI-U approaches and tools.”
Logedi has earned 54 certificates so far by successfully completing assessments related to the high-impact approaches in TCI-U. According to Dorothy, coaching in conjunction with TCI-U needs to intensify to ensure access and utilization of it by more providers so they have the necessary knowledge and skills to offer quality contraceptive services.
This can only be achieved if everyone embraces TCI-U.”