Accessing High-Quality Family Planning in Zambia
- The use of family planning methods is low in rural areas of Zambia.
- Abt helped the government expand access to high-quality family planning services.
- The goal is for the Ministry of Health to sustain the program.
Zambia’s economy has grown in recent years, although approximately two-thirds of the country lives in poverty. Improving and expanding health services to all requires strengthening the country’s health systems. Access to high-quality family planning is one contributor to better health.
Abt implemented the Scaling Up Family Planning (SUFP) Program, funded by UK Aid through the UK’s Department for International Development. Working with the government of Zambia, SUFP expanded the availability of modern contraceptive methods; increased access to family planning services; increased community support for family planning; and built the capacity of government health facilities to provide high-quality family planning services.
Phase I of the project (2012-2016) focused on mobilizing communities, building service delivery capacity in health facilities and strengthening commodity distribution in 26 targeted districts across Zambia. In Phase 2 (July 2016-October 2018), Abt continued these activities in two provinces—Western and Central—while transitioning ownership of the program to the government of Zambia and strengthening the ministry of health’s capacity to sustain SUFP activities.
SUFP Phase I resulted in an additional 295,100 women and girls using a family planning method and achieved 578,240 couple years of protection. Less than 1 percent of facilities experienced a stock-out, the result of improved supply chain management. Almost 3,000 health workers, community members, and others were trained to provide comprehensive family planning services.
During Phase II of the program, SUFP’s support in Western and Central Provinces led to 216,074 new users of modern methods of family planning and 272,897 couple years of protection for Zambians.