High Impact Practice: Develop, implement, and monitor supportive government policies for family planning

26 January, 2019

Selected extract and a comment from me below.

With thanks to K4Health's tweet: https://twitter.com/K4Health/status/1088896540175933440

"A supportive #familyplanning policy builds the foundation for systems, services & supplies. The Policy HIP brief provides informative tips on how to implement from country experiences. Learn more: https://bit.ly/2yda4vt #HIPs4FP "

'Clear, up-to-date clinical guidelines maximize safe access to services. Evidence-based clinical guidelines promote the effectiveness, safety, and overall quality of care for the delivery of reproductive health services. Global experts regularly review and update international recommendations based on current evidence. For family planning, the World Health Organization’s Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use [https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/family_planning/Ex-S... and the Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use [https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/family_planning/SPR-... are the most commonly recognized authority. National guidelines should be reviewed routinely to ensure that they reflect international standards.

'Comprehensive national guidelines clarify standards for provision of contraceptives by non-traditional service providers. A review of family planning clinical practice guidelines in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa found that national guidelines were generally inconsistent with current evidence (Wilson et al., 2011). Many of the guidelines restricted the provision of contraceptives by lower-level providers or provided little or no guidance about which methods could be provided through the private sector, such as pharmacists and drug shop keepers.'


Comment: The finding by Wilson et al is troubling and important. It would be helpful to understand more about this. However, the reference says:

Wilson L, McGinn E, Yacobson I, Stanback J. How well do national family planning guidelines from Africa adhere to international guidance? A review of guidelines from thirteen countries. Unpublished; 2011.

Unpublished? - We need to know the reason(s) why this paper was unpublished. If the research was carried out to a reasonably high standard, this paper should have been published. And if it was not, it should not be cited. Can anyone point us to the authors to find out more?

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Project on Family Planning


Coordinator, HIFA Project on Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice


Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the current chair of the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 700 communities of practice for international development, social justice and global health. He is also coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global health community with more than 17,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on 5 Dgroups in 3 languages. /orcid.org/0000-0001-9557-1487 neil@hifa.org