Jhpiego’s work in integrating health services at the point of care has had great impact and has played a vital role in improving the health of women and children around the world. By maximizing opportunities through routine and systematic integration of health services, Jhpiego has enabled clients to get the care they need when they need it. Integration has also increased efficiency, which benefits both the client and the health care provider.
For many years, health facilities divided and addressed each specific health outcome separately, which was often matched by a divided infrastructure—maternal health services were available only on a certain day; to access malaria services the client would need to revisit the facility on another day, or even travel to a different facility altogether.
However, integrating health services expands access to health care services. With postpartum family planning, for instance, Jhpiego has emphasized the importance of systematically offering family planning information and services during routine antenatal, postnatal and child health visits, the most common times for health worker contact. Jhpiego has also found that women coming for postpartum care are very interested in receiving family planning messages and services. These women account for 90 percent of women of reproductive age in many high-fertility settings.
Liberia is a good example of the benefits of integration. Jhpiego prepared vaccinators to provide family planning counseling and same-day referrals to women who brought their infants in for vaccinations, which enabled women to receive a family planning method while their children receive immunizations. In Côte d’Ivoire, and elsewhere, Jhpiego integrates cervical cancer screening with HIV care and treatment; and in many countries, Jhpiego integrates malaria prevention and treatment with antenatal care to improve birth outcomes.
Using a “no missed opportunities” approach, Jhpiego has consistently focused on bringing people the best care, in the best way. Supporting health care providers to address client needs first and overcome barriers to better health has inspired our innovations. Jhpiego will continue to develop and fine-tune integration models to balance the needs of the clients with the ability to maintain high-quality, integrated services.