Tele-Counseling Boosts Indian Contraception Rates
- Roll-out of injectable contraceptives (DMPA) in five states in India
- Tele-counseling services to increase DMPA continuation and client satisfaction
- Counseled more than 182,000 women and registered 53,000 DMPA users
The Government of India has taken great strides to invest in family planning, understanding that access to modern contraceptives can decrease maternal mortality, improve women’s empowerment and access to education, and promote the country’s growth. Recently, the government rolled out the injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) in public sector facilities and clinics. Research shows that women experiencing side-effects need extra reassurance and guidance, yet public-sector providers find delivering this support both challenging and time consuming.
To address DMPA clients’ need for effective and timely support, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the Abt-led Support for National Injectables Roll-out Careline Expansion Project. It provides tele-counseling to ensure women receive reassurance about side-effects and reminders for their next injection in a non-threatening environment. Abt’s approach proved successful in the private sector and is expanding into the public sector in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Rajasthan.
The project improved DMPA client’s satisfaction and continuation rates. It offers insights into the reasons for and patterns of discontinuity, improving quality of care. The project helped 65 percent of women continue to use the contraceptives to their second dose. Among those women, more than 70 percent continued to their third dose. The project team conducted 113 facility mentoring visits and used technology to counsel more than 182,000 women. The project team has registered more than 53,000 DMPA clients for follow up reminders. The project’s activities have led to improved availability of DMPA and quality of data.