Integrating Family Planning with Maternal and Child Health

The objective of this operational research was to measure the effects of integrated family planning and maternal and child health service delivery at health facilities and in communities by community health volunteers in Liberia. The research looked specifically at family planning and maternal and child health acceptance and continuation in rural Lofa County, Liberia. At baseline, the women who accepted a contraceptive method from a community health volunteer were older, had more children, and were less educated. This finding suggests that both service delivery strategies are valuable, as they attract different clients. Findings indicate that both strategies served populations new to family planning and did not replace other sources of services for clients. Clients of both types of service outlets identified convenience as the major reason for choosing their service location. In exit interviews of women who had come to health facilities for child immunization, 80 percent indicated that they appreciated hearing family planning messages during their immunization visit, and 75 percent said they intended visiting family planning services. This suggests that integration may have been well-received by both staff and clients, had the research not been curtailed by the Ebola epidemic.

The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.