Safidy Can Improve Family Planning Outcomes By Using HIPs
Blue Ventures takes a holistic population, health, and environment (PHE) approach to working in some of the world’s most isolated and underserved coastal communities in Madagascar. Safidy, which means “choice” in Malagasy, is the name of the community health program that forms part of this initiative. The project serves more than 45,000 people, working with communities to manage their coastal resources while also improving access to family planning services; maternal and child health care; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services.
Safidy supports the ability of all people to freely choose the number and spacing of their births. The project also enables community members to engage in sustainable natural resource management such as temporary octopus closures and aquaculture techniques for seaweed and sea cucumber farming.
Several of Safidy’s Activities Already Align With HIP Elements
Though Safidy is not implementing every recommended HIP, several of its past and current activities align with certain HIPs elements. These elements include:
- Training community members on family planning and other health services (Community Health Workers).
- Supporting community outreach through mobile clinics (Mobile Outreach Services).
- Promoting health education and outreach, including hosting radio shows that emphasize the value of family planning and the links between human and ecosystem health (Mass Media).
Watch the video to hear more about Safidy’s work from Safidy staff, partners and beneficiaries.
HOW CAN SAFIDY STRENGTHEN HIPS FOR ENHANCED RESULTS?
To further strengthen the impact of their activities, Safidy should strategically consider how to leverage the HIPs they currently implement and explore opportunities to strengthen their projects by using additional HIPs. For example, Safidy could implement the Digital Health for Systems HIP Enhancement to improve family planning digital technology options. Project staff could develop mobile applications that allow their CHWs to easily access information and accurately enter data about counseling sessions to enhance their interactions with clients and supervisors. Blue Ventures has used mobile technology to launch a smartphone-based shark fishery monitoring program in Madagascar. This experience could be scaled up to support development of mobile applications for their community health program.15
Use HIPs to Support Strong Family Planning Outcomes
Safidy communities are so remote that they lacked reliable basic health services. No reproductive health projects were working at these sites before the project began. Today, however, the project collaborates with the Ministry of Public Health and other health partners to ensure that these remote coastal communities have improved access to quality health care. Safidy has achieved solid results since it began its integrated health-environment program in 2007―between 2009 and 2013, the share of sexually active women (ages 15 to 49) in the project area using hormonal contraception and/or condoms during last intercourse increased from 25 percent to 59 percent.16 As the project continues, Safidy should consciously apply more HIPs to its activities as it strives for strong family planning outcomes as part of its overall objectives. Safidy is a key example of how PHE projects help serve rural communities’ family planning needs. When projects like Safidy use HIPs in their work, family planning resources are directed more effectively and achieve greater impact.