Just as love is in the air on Valentine’s Day, the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative’s (HC3) long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) materials are feeling the love too and being used around the world to give youth options on how to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Since their release, 20 organizations in 19 countries have asked to use the LARC materials in their work. In Ghana, Marie Stopes International (MSI) has produced and distributed over 50,000 copies of LARC brochures and 10,000 copies of LARC posters in public and private clinics. MSI is also utilizing community mobilization events and tertiary institutions to distribute materials and promote family planning services over a one-year period to evaluate their effectiveness.
In Madagascar, Projet Jeune Leader (PJL) is working with a medical liaison to lead a training with local health workers to strengthen communication and counseling skills with adolescent clients. As part of the workshop, PJL incorporates the LARC video – translated into Malagasy – to encourage providers to counsel youth around LARCs. Four health providers have been trained so far, and it is estimated that those trained will indirectly benefit approximately 1,500 adolescents in surrounding schools.
In Mozambique, Population Services International (PSI) has used the posters and brochures in a variety of settings including pharmacies, schools and health facilities. Health workers and pharmacists are using the brochures to facilitate discussions around LARCs. The materials have been translated into Portuguese by the team and during the course of 2017, PSI plans to place the brochures and posters in 100 schools, 50 clinics and 40 pharmacies.
The ExpandFP project in Uganda intends to use the materials to support multi-faceted youth-focused family planning/sexual reproductive health activities. The posters will be displayed in public-sector supported facilities as well as in meeting locations of youth organizations with which they partner. The brochures will be used as job aides for providers and peer educators during counseling (or referral) and education sessions.
In the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, K4Health has adapted the LARC materials for health providers working in the public and private sector as part of the USAID Zika response. This spring, an in-person knowledge-sharing event will be held to unveil the materials to 40 International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) affiliates and Project ASSIST beneficiaries. It is the hope that once the event concludes, the adapted resources will be shared with over 15,000 health care providers who are working on integrating Zika prevention into family planning counseling. Redesigned, Spanish-language versions of the materials have been posted to the Zika Communication Network (ZCN) website, which sees approximately 900 to 1,200 visitors to the site each month. The posters and brochures featured on the ZCN site were reimagined and translated by the Pan American Social Marketing Association (PASMO) in Guatemala, which is distributing the materials in approximately 200 private clinics.
In Ethiopia, PSI is in the beginning stages of designing the project, and intends to use the posters in clinics, schools and various project sites. Health workers will be trained on youth counseling as well as to use the materials to educate adolescents. The anticipated start date for the project is June 2017 and the aim is to reach more than 120,000 adolescents in the three-year project period.
It has been rewarding to see the materials find their match with different projects and new audiences around the world.