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From contraceptive prevalence to family planning service users: implications for policy and programmes
Authors: Khan AA, Abbas K, Hamza HB, Bilal A, Khan A
Source: Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, Apr;63(4 Suppl 3):S11-5.
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2013
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) is a widely accepted measure of maternal health and uptake of family planning (FP) services. However, the overall CPR obscures the actual utilization of FP services due to over-representation of long-term methods. This study used CPR from 2007 to arrive at and compare the number of actual number of women who availed different FP services in order to understand issues and gaps in FP services in Pakistan. METHODS: This study used secondary data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2006-7 estimate the CPR and modern method mix for 2007.These were then multiplied by the estimated number of married women of reproductive age (MWRA) to arrive at the actual numbers of women using specific FP methods and utilizing FP services in a given year. RESULTS: In 2007 the CPR was 30% overall and 22% for modern methods. However, the number of women availing FP services decreased to 12% when adjusted for FP users who had availed services in the past 12 months. Within this "service mix", self-procurement of FP commodities directly from stores without a advice from a health provider constitutes around 37% of all FP "services" and the public sector accounts for another 33%. Condoms are the commonest method served, accounting for over half of all "services". CONCLUSIONS: The bulk of FP is self-procured and the service mixed is skewed towards client controlled methods that do not require medical advice. Thus, lack of quality for contraceptive services that require some form of supportive healthcare services and counselling may be a bottleneck to improving CPR.