Community-Based Emergency Contraception

Community health worker provision of family planning is recognized as a high-impact practice for extending reproductive services to women, especially those who live in hard-to-reach areas. The emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) offers women a second chance to prevent an unwanted pregnancy in the event of failure to use a contraceptive method, failure of the method itself, and rape. Globally, only a third of social marketing programs distribute ECPs, and the proportion is even smaller among community-based family planning programs. Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) supports the integration of ECPs into community-based family planning programs to ensure more women can prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Community Health Worker Provision of ECPs

ECP rollout has been hampered by misinformation, limited training, and commodity shortages. APC conducted an assessment to generate information for the development of information, education, and communication materials for better integrating ECPs into community-based family planning programs.

Providing Emergency Contraception through Community Health Workers in Uganda: A Formative Assessment
September 2017 | Brief

A formative assessment exploring what factors play into emergency contraceptive pill usage and acceptability through community health workers with key stakeholders in Uganda.

Formative Assessment of Emergency Contraceptive Pills at the Community Level in Uganda Report
September 2017 | Report

APC, in collaboration with WellShare International and FHI 360, conducted a formative assessment of emergency contraception provision through community health workers, called village health teams (VHT members), in Uganda. The assessment was designed to identify problems associated with the distribution of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) by VHT members to improve the integration of this post-coital contraceptive method into existing community-based family planning (CBFP) programs.

World Vision Study Tour

For the past four years, WellShare International has been implementing a community-based family planning (CBFP) project under the Advancing Partners & Communities Project (APC) in Eastern Uganda. The project incorporates community health worker (CHW) provision of emergency contraceptive pills (CB-EC) and injectables (CBA2I), including Sayana Press/DMPA-subQ. World Vision/Kenya requested an educational tour to explore introduction of CB-EC into its APC-supported project. The tour took place May 29-31, 2017 in Iganga, Uganda.

Emergency Contraception Fact Sheet for Community Health Workers
September 2017 | Fact Sheet

This fact sheet is designed for community health workers, also known as a village health team members in Uganda to explain emergency contraceptives.

In Support of Community-Based Emergency Contraception
September 2017 | Journal Article

Community-based family planning is a proven, high-impact practice for extending reproductive health services to women, particularly those in hard-to-reach places. Accordingly, many community-based family planning programs facilitate and support the provision of condoms, oral contraceptive pills and even injectable contraceptives by community health workers (CHWs). Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)—a method for which there are no contraindications and the user herself can determine need—are not routinely included among the contraceptive methods provided by community health workers.

Below you will find links to resources created by APC and other organizations.

APC Resources

Providing Emergency Contraception through Community Health Workers in Uganda: A Formative Assessment
September 2017 | Brief

A formative assessment exploring emergency contraceptive pill usage and acceptability through community health workers in Uganda.

Formative Assessment of Emergency Contraceptive Pills at the Community Level in Uganda Report
September 2017 | Report

APC, in collaboration with WellShare International and FHI 360, conducted a formative assessment of emergency contraception provision through community health workers, called village health teams, in Uganda.

World Vision Study Tour

World Vision/Kenya requested an educational tour to explore introduction of CB-EC into its APC-supported project. The tour took place May 29-31, 2017 in Iganga, Uganda.

Emergency Contraception Fact Sheet for Community Health Workers
September 2017 | Fact Sheet

This fact sheet is designed for community health workers, also known as a village health team members in Uganda to explain emergency contraceptives.

What Clients Need to Know about Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECPs) – A Job-Aid for Community Health Workers
September 2017 | Fact Sheet

This job aid is designed for community health workers, also known as a village health team members in Uganda.

In support of community-based emergency contraception
April 2016 | Journal Article

To read the full article on emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), please register with Contraception Journal.

Advancing Partners & Communities: Emergency Contraception in Uganda
January 2015 | Brief

This brief details a formative assessment of emergency contraceptive pills at the community level in Uganda. The goal of this assessment is to generate information for the development of information, education, and communication materials for better integrating EC into existing community-based family planning programs.

External Resources

In Support of Community-Based Emergency Contraception
September 2017 | Journal Article

Community-based family planning is a proven, high-impact practice for extending reproductive health services to women, particularly those in hard-to-reach places. Accordingly, many community-based family planning programs facilitate and support the provision of condoms, oral contraceptive pills and even injectable contraceptives by community health workers (CHWs). Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)—a method for which there are no contraindications and the user herself can determine need—are not routinely included among the contraceptive methods provided by community health workers.

WellShare International, founded in 1979, has a mission to advance sustainable community health around the world. WellShare applies a holistic approach that builds effective partnerships, engages community health workers to bridge the gap between communities and the formal health sector, rigorously evaluates outcomes, and promotes long-term sustainability. WellShare reaches its goal of healthy people through a focus on health education, transfer of simple technologies, and connecting people to timely and appropriate health resources.

September 03, 2015 | Announcement

To address the gap in knowledge about the integration of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) within community-based family planning (CBFP) programs, APC convened a meeting in June 2015 on the integration of EC in CBFP programs. Learn more about the meeting and view the presentations.

July 01, 2015 | Announcement

WellShare International and APC undertook a formative assessment to evaluate current knowledge, use, supply, and barriers to the uptake of ECPs in four districts of Uganda where CBFP programs are operating. This assessment is the first of its kind in sub- Saharan Africa.

April 14, 2015 | Event

Read more about two upcoming events in April and May from APC on Sayana® Press and emergency contraception.

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Health Workers

WellShare International trained 257 village health team members in Uganda to provide adolescents with adolescent sexual and reproductive health counseling and family planning services.