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Liberia: Increasing Access to Family Planning Services (through MCHIP)
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After the end of its civil war in 2003, Liberia faced enormous challenges to rebuild its crippled health care system and provide adequate health services for its people. In only a few short years, the country has taken bold steps to transition from an emergency relief model to a functioning, decentralized health system.
However, the provision of family planning (FP) services remains poor. Although 87% of women have knowledge of FP methods, the contraceptive prevalence rate is only about 11% with an unmet need of 36%. Many cultural and religious practices result in early teen pregnancy and low use of modern methods of contraception. And although abortion is not legal, it is widely practiced, and postabortion care does not include counseling or provision of FP commodities. In addition, exclusive breastfeeding is practiced on average for only one month.
The Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) and its partners are increasing access to FP services by:
• Building local capacity to train and supervise providers in the provision of high-quality FP and reproductive health services;
• Improving the knowledge and skills of providers in the provision of a broad array of FP methods;
• Improving service delivery of FP methods at all levels of the health system;
• Working with religious leaders and community-based volunteers and partners; and
• Building knowledge about and demand for FP services in the community.
The Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) is the USAID Bureau for Global Health’s maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) program. MCHIP supports global programming in MNCH, immunization, family planning, malaria and HIV/AIDS, and strongly encourages opportunities for integration. Cross-cutting technical areas include water, sanitation, hygiene, urban health and health systems strengthening.
MCHIP brings together a partnership of organizations with demonstrated success in reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality rates and malnutrition. Each partner is taking the lead in developing programs around specific technical areas. Jhpiego is the Prime on MCHIP, leading a coalition of the following partners: JSI, Save the Children, PATH, JHU/IIP, Broad Branch, PSI and Macro International.
For more information about MCHIP, see full MCHIP description on this Web site or visit www.mchip.net.
For nearly 40 years, Jhpiego, (pronounced "ja-pie-go"), has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing simple, low-cost, hands-on solutions that strengthen the delivery of health care services, following the household-to-hospital continuum of care. We partner with community- to national-level organizations to build sustainable, local capacity through advocacy, policy and guidelines development, and quality and performance improvement approaches.
For more information about Jhpiego, visit www.jhpiego.org.