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Building Zambian Capacity to Deliver Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services

logoThe Scaling Up Family Planning (SUFP) project helped the government of Zambia expand access to high-quality family planning services in 26 underserved and vulnerable districts in Zambia.

The four-year program, which ran from 2011 to 2016, was an important component of the U.K. government’s support for comprehensive assistance in the health sector of Zambia. SUFP was led by Abt Associates and funded by U.K. Aid from the U.K. government.

The SUFP team in Lusaka worked intensively at all levels of the health system – national, provincial, district and community – in collaboration with the Zambian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development, Mother, and Child Health to build capacity for effective delivery and uptake of quality family planning and adolescent sexual reproductive health services.

woman with patient
A woman discusses contraceptive pills with a nurse at a rural clinic in Zambia. The Scaling Up Family Planning in Zambia (SUFP) project, led by Abt Associates and funded by UKAid from the U.K. government, helped nearly 300,000 additional women and girls access family planning services.
Photo credit: Jessica Scranton

SUFP contributed to reducing maternal mortality and increasing contraceptive prevalence in Zambia through expanding access to family planning services. The program focused on districts with the highest levels of fertility and the least access to family planning services. Messages were targeted at hard-to-reach groups, such as adolescent girls and poor women. The program supported community health workers and groups to plan and implement health promotion interventions aimed at improving the knowledge of targeted women and adolescents about family planning practice and the benefits of using long-acting contraceptive methods.

The project:

  • Helped 295,104 additional women and girls to use family planning methods, which provided 578,241 total couple years of protection, an estimate of how long couples using modern contraception could avoid accidental pregnancies;
  • Less than 1 percent of SUFP facilities experienced a stock-out of the full comprehensive package of family planning methods over the last 12 months of program implementation – the result of capacity building in supply chain management;
  • Trained 752 health workers and 65 family planning mentors to provide comprehensive family planning services, including long-acting and reversible methods; and
  • Trained 1,896 community leaders and safe motherhood action group members as community- based distributors to increase access to family planning methods.

Abt Associates implemented the program in partnership with the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia, the American College of Nurse Midwives, Imperial Health Sciences (formerly RTT), and Systemic Inventive Thinking.

Abt also is implementing SUFP Phase II, which runs from 2016-2018. 

Learn more about Zambia SUFP:

Sub-Saharan Africa