Mobile outreach increases use of family planning
In remote areas of Senegal, public health facilities are difficult to reach and access to voluntary family planning services is limited. SHOPS Plus addresses this unmet need through mobile outreach teams. The teams provide access to high quality counseling and a range of methods. From October to December 2016, 1,860 women accessed voluntary family planning methods through the mobile outreach team in Kaffrine, a region in central Senegal. More than half of the clients were first-time users of modern family planning. The team also provided 1,160 cervical cancer screenings and 274 treatments for sexually transmitted infections.
SHOPS Plus uses interpersonal communication as the key strategy for raising awareness and referring clients for services in remote areas of Kaffrine. The strategy includes visits with religious leaders to help address sociocultural barriers that can hinder women’s access to family planning services. The interpersonal communication activities increase awareness, dispel myths, and help to gain the support of the wider community. They also boost women’s confidence in accessing confidential information and in making decisions about services offered by the outreach teams.
SHOPS Plus social marketing agents and community health workers conducted door-to-door visits and group discussions to raise awareness in all four districts of Kaffrine, reaching more than 3,000 men and women. The team organized 65 family planning service delivery days and generated an estimated 6,620 couple years of protection.