Enhancing Family Planning Counseling and Provision of Services through Integration into HIV Care and Treatment Services in the Shinyanga Region of Tanzania (UNFPA)
The United Nations Population Fund is supporting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to implement and evaluate a family planning (FP)/HIV integration model in Shinyanga Region in Tanzania. The FP/HIV integration model is defined as the co-location of FP and HIV care and treatment services at care and treatment centers (CTCs). This model involves the provision of family planning screening, counseling, and commodities to CTC clients. Strategies to support this integration include healthcare provider training on counseling, provision, and documentation of FP services to CTC clients; support to district leadership to ensure overall coordination of implementation, including site supervision and supply management and distribution; and orientation of community-level workers on availability of FP at CTC. The overall study aim is to assess changes resulting from the integration of FP services into HIV services and to assess the acceptability of the integrated model among district health managers, healthcare providers, and clients.
Prior to implementation of the integration model, a baseline assessment evaluated FP needs and services provided to HIV-positive adult CTC clients. The results of the baseline assessment indicated that a majority of respondents wanted to delay or prevent pregnancy and may benefit from availability of FP counseling and commodities in CTCs. Follow-up surveys will be administered nearly one year following the implementation of the model to assess changes in family planning practices.
This research builds on national-level momentum, and is aligned with national policy changes in Tanzania to integration FP and HIV services. Current evidence is limited on the FP/HIV integration model’s acceptability and impact on uptake of family planning services. The results from this study will provide valuable feedback to the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, implementing partners, and other stakeholders and guide implementation and scale-up of this intervention throughout the country.