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Project Vikalp:A Family Planning m-Health Initiative

Overall Goal

To increase the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) for spacing methods from 1.7% (baseline indicator for spacing method- IUD, condoms, oral pills) to 4 % in three years, in Shahapur taluka, Thane district, thus improving maternal and child health indicators.

Specific Objectives:  

         
  • To increase uptake of spacing methods along with increased knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) through planned mobile based toll free call centre as well as through a mix of IEC activities      
  • To create new contraceptive outlets in the rural outreach areas to give contraceptive options to the community in terms of socially marketed as well as commercial contraceptive products, besides the free government distributed products, in the rural areas      
Project Area: Shahapur taluka, Thane district, Maharashtra

The Solution

U-Respect’s unique solution is based on a triangulation methodology - services through a toll-free helpline, products (contraceptives) in place, and the use of local on-field community consultants effectively for support functions to effectively addresses the gaps in the traditional approaches by  

         
  • Mapping traditional & non-traditional outlets and government services available in the area      
  • Providing a toll free mobile helpline for confidential counseling and service referrals      
  • Reaching out directly to eligible couples and adolescents and counseling them      
  • Providing nominally priced contraceptive products directly to households  

What do we do?

         
  • U-Respect Foundation has set up a fully functional toll free mobile-based call centre providing 24x7 sexual and reproductive health and family planning counselling, and linking communities to available services as mapped out initially.        
  • Physically mapped the entire Shahapur block and has a data base of all public and private health care providers, traditional and non-traditional outlets and list of self-help groups in the area and created a strong contraceptive tracking mechanism among communities to track first time, repeat contraceptive acceptors, switchers of methods or terminators.  

 

     
                     
Key Deliverables        

 

  • The CPR increase till date (25 months since project initiation) has been 13.4 percent which is a huge breakthrough
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  • Toll-free call center is averaging 150-200 calls a month indicating growing demand for reproductive health counseling needs across the remote, rural and tribal communities                  
  • Till June 2015, we have received a total of around 3000 calls (62% male callers)                  
  • Linked/referred 974 callers with essential SRH services                  
  • Followed up with 302 couples (subject to their consent) to ensure that they accessed the SRH/FP services they wanted.                  
  • Connected with an entire tribal / rural community comprising of around 300,000 people with essential SRH/FP services through mobile phone based call centre to provide a 24 x 7 service                  
  • Ensured contraceptive (condoms and oral pills) availability in 33 medical shops in the interior areas and 8 non-traditional outlets to give community members a range of choices of brands and pricing, especially for condoms and oral pills  

What next?  

         
  • Project Vikalp scale-up 2016-2020: covering all seven talukas of Thane district (total population 8 million)  
  • Train and develop community experts (both male and female) who can counsel on ongoing basis for sustainable impact      
  • Create more outlets - traditional and non-traditional - for easier access to a range of reversible contraceptive products, to be made available beyond the block and into rural areas      
  • Leverage mobile technology to reach wider audience; with toll-free call center manned by trained counselors  for confidential counseling and referral services